Monday, November 14, 2011


It’s mid-November and Christmas decorations went up in at least two upscale Houston shopping areas over a month ago. My reaction was something between disappointment and disgust. Really, people? You had to push the season forward two months? Why? Is it greed or did they just want to get on the lighting contractor’s schedule? Having little respect for the motives of shopping centers, I assume the former.

Last week I saw a notice from Nordstrom that said they weren’t decorating until after Thanksgiving. I’ve never shopped much in the store, but their restraint has earned my respect. They’re treating the holidays as a special time, a limited season to be celebrated as a lead-up to a the main events—Christmas or Chanukah—not a three month promotional opportunity followed by the January sales. Result—I’m applauding their decision and have decided to shop there in the future, when possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the holiday lights and things that sparkle. As a child I was enchanted by the magic of the Christmas displays in the windows of New York department stores--elaborate fantasy lands which materialized right after Santa wound up the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  December was the special time of the year when the world seemed to don its storybook attire—decorations of silver and gold, bright red bows, twinkling lights, glittering snow and magical creatures. Maybe Nordstorm’s decision is the first in a trend to bring back a true holiday season. Wouldn’t that be grand!
Am I alone here? Speak up. I'd love to hear what you think.


Tim O'Brien said...

I agree 100%. I don't live near a big shopping area like the Galleria in Houston, but I was shocked this past week when neighbors starting putting up their Christmas lights. The goofball across the street put his up and still has his Halloween decorations out in the yard as well. Let's don't rush past and stop for Thanksgiving. I think the early rush to Christmas is retailers panicked that this economy will not bring the sales they obviously are so desperate for.

Lark Howard said...

Yeah, Tim, why would people want to rush past Thanksgiving? It's a wonderful holiday with such easily achievable requirements: turkey, stuffing, pie. Personally, I'd rather rush past Christmas which is way more work than I want to put out.

Retailers have been jumping the gun for a while here in Houston, not just during the current bad economy. It's annoying, but the trend. And by the middle of December, everything goes on sale!