Vs. Halloween Products on Sale in September

Posted: September 6, 2011 in Holidays
Tags: , , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  I went to the grocery store last week and noticed that the Halloween aisle was up and running.  And why not?  I know that whenever the first week of September rolls around, I’m always thinking…I better hurry up and buy my Halloween costume.  I should stock up on those bite size Kit Kats before they sell out.  I need me some spooky decorations ASAP!

Unless you’re eleven years old or a budding serial killer – you probably aren’t trying on Halloween costumes two months in advance.  And who among us needs eight weeks to sort out our cob web and plastic cauldron purchases?  Not to mention the fact that if you’re buying trick or treat candy sixty days early…let’s be honest…you’re going to eat that candy and then buy some more a few days before Halloween.

It seems that holiday products go on sale earlier and earlier each year.  (Or, if you shop at the 99 Cent Store, you can buy Valentines and Easter egg kits year round).  It wasn’t this way when I was a tot.  Each holiday was special and we looked forward to that limited amount of time when decorations go up and products go on sale.  Now, the retailers are diluting the holiday excitement.  If you have Halloween junk on sale for two months, we’ll be sick of Halloween before it gets here.  Mid October will roll around and we’ll be thinking, “Is that Halloween candy still on sale?  Hasn’t that holiday happened yet?” 

Stop watering down our holidays.

Jack-o-latern

Nothing says September like...

It’s the egg nog principle.  Egg nog is a special holiday treat.  It’s only on sale for a limited amount of time.  If egg nog were available year round (and, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I haven’t included this wish in my nightly prayers for decades) it would no longer feel special.  It’s simple math.  The more something is available, the less special it is.  Halloween is a top holiday for kids.  I’d bet that for most children it is second only to Christmas.  Put on a cool costume and get free candy?  It’s freakin’ awesome.  But if we extend this thing into summer, it really starts to lose its charm.

If paper skeleton cut outs are available before we can finish planning our Labor Day barbecue – how can we be expected to keep anything straight?  Anticipation is a great thing, but if kids start planning their trick or treat routes before they go back to school….the hype will wear everyone out before the actual date of celebration arrives.

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I push the sale of Halloween products back into October, where they belong?  I don’t know.  I’ve entertained some crazy schemes involving on-line campaigns, reverse psychology marketing ploys and an overly complex ruse to hide the products with a strategically placed series of full-length mirrors…but I might be over-thinking it.  I’m going to try something new this time.  Something simple.  A time honored tradition we learn when we’re young enough to get excited about a holiday that’s main appeal is a bag of second-rate candy.  I’m going to ask nicely.  I’m going to say please.  And if that doesn’t work – I’ll TP and egg them.

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Comments
  1. Jackie says:

    Thank you for “The Egg Nog Principle”. I’m going to find a way to work that into everyday conversation.

  2. Tom says:

    I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m actually glad they are doing the holidays earlier and earlier every year. It makes the neighbors think that the decorations I’ve had in the yard since last Halloween might… just might… be new ones I got this year. Of course, I have to tell them that the white Christmas lights along my roof (which were colored when I put them up 3 years ago) came in a package deal with the headless skeleton on my porch. (The head was last seen during a summer thunderstorm. I’m sure some toddler somewhere is still having nightmares.)

  3. Kestrel Blue says:

    Yes, then watch the stores for how early Christmas stuff goes on sale. It gets kids excited for the holiday, but then the holiday takes too long to get here. 2-3 weeks before the holiday should be when the decs should come out…..sooooo in concultion i agree with you. 🙂

  4. angelina says:

    I totally agree! nothing gets you in the spirit of christmas like shopping in december. same for halloween in october. Shopping for easter candy in january is not my idea of fun.

  5. I’m with you on this. Around here the Halloween stuff starting showing up in mid-July. which nearly caused me to engage in a vociferous in-store rant until hubby talked me down. I swear I’ve already seen a few hints of Christmas merchandise. Worst of all, they had the Back to School merch out before the poor dears had even seen a full week of summer vacation this year. That is so wrong.

    I love an excuse to decorate, but this is getting out of hand.

  6. heathersnyder1 says:

    I am torn about this one. On one shoulder I have the angel telling me, “Never decorate until 3 weeks before Halloween. Don’t give in to the temptation of buying the Trick or Treat snack size candy because you know you will dive into the bag and eat it all like those who have fallen before you, you are weak. Spiders, you hate spiders…and their creepy webs freak you out.”
    .
    On the other shoulder I have the devil (awesomely-cool, costumed devil, I might add) saying, “You love costumes, you love candy, what’s the harm of buying them in August anyway? Here try on these plastic vampire teeth, NO ONE HAS TO KNOW. Magic wands, who wouldn’t want a magic wand. You could totally go for a magic wand in September”. Usually the devil wins. I can’t help it.

    I’m pathetic…yes, I even crave eggnog year round. I promise if it is sold year round, I will still act surprised at Christmas if someone says, “Who wants a glass of eggnog?”…ooh, ooh, me!!!

  7. I completely agree. I wish we could enjoy Halloween in October, I wish we could get all the way through Thanksgiving with nary a Christmas decoration. But no such luxury for me, I am a retailer (a 20-year veteran) and I can promise you, it’s no big marketing ploy, the product is out early because the consumer demand is high.

    I have been taking daily complaints since July that I have no Christmas product on my shelves – Halloween is already old news to these people. And the minute it hits the salesfloor I’ll get blasted with complaints that I put it out too soon; I’m screwed either way. The best (and only) way to do something about this is to not buy it.

    (I can get eggnog year-round at my grocery store! But I only buy it in December. And sometimes January. And maybe once, but only once, in July.)

  8. #4 says:

    I’m afraid you’ll just beat your head against the wall, Mr. Mcbee. The retail world is stuck on “early in – early out”, constantly trying to turn their inventory. Walmart pretty much started the whole thing headed in that direction, so if you still plan on doing something, you’ll have to start there.
    Oh – and you’re going to need a lot of eggs.

  9. ButchInc says:

    Totally agree with you. Thing is, people would already buy christmas stuff in January again if they could. Or they can, I don’t know. Nonetheless it dilutes the excitement, but I guess c’est la vie nowadays.

    • Makya McBee says:

      Tom – You must have the most festive house in the world…just imagine…a year’s worth of holiday decorations on display 24/7…and you don’t even have to imagine…you merely have to step outside. That takes great chutzpah…or tremendous laziness…either way, kudos.

      Kestrel – One can tell you’re a college student – abbreviating “decorations” as “decs” – you crazy kids with your dislike of multiple syllables, it’s good to have some youth on my side.

      Angelina – Darn tootin’ – “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” used to be a song about December, now it’s a song about October, November and December.

      Stephanie – Halloween in mid-July? That’s crazy talk. And I thought September was early. I feel your pain (it’s like a slight throbbing in your right knee, yes?)

      Heather – Who has to know about your plastic vampire teeth? Now, thanks to the cyber-power of the information superhighway, dozens of people from all over the world know. Maybe this exposure will shame you into realizing the blood-sucking error of your ways.

      365 – You can get egg nog year round? Where do you live? Seriously, where? If I don’t get some work soon I’m going to have to move and I want to move to the land of eternal nog.

      #4 – Mr. McBee is so formal, please call me, “Oh, Captain, my Captain.” Yes, I will need a lot of eggs…or maybe just a lot of egg nog, to drown my sorrows…

      Butch – Yeah, what’s next? Getting all of your Christmas shopping for 2012 done in 2011?

  10. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    I’m going to have to say, I’d like the Halloween store to be open year ’round.

    Although, I understand the sentiment. I have a horrible twitch that’s induced by seeing Christmas decorations in stores now… especially craft stores. Don’t get me started on the wife’s Terry’s Village catalogs…

    • Makya McBee says:

      D13 – I’m not sure that an open Halloween store would somehow alleviate your negative response to the Christmas decorations…it would just make the shelves more crowded. I don’t know what Terry’s Village is…and I think I’ll keep it that way.

  11. Laura4NYC says:

    It’s the same with christmas stuff you find three months ahead of time in your supermarket… drives me nuts! Makes me wonder why they don’t sell egg nog in September, huh? at least YOU would buy it!!

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