Open Seasons
I find myself vaguely disturbed by what I have noticed to be a new trend these last few years – open seasons (AKA retailers moving holidays further and further up the retail calendar and mushing them all together).

For example, in September of last year, I walked into several retailers only to be bombarded with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all at the same time. Instead of “Aw cool! Now I can find the perfect HallowThanksMas costume/centerpiece/gift item.” I was left thinking “What the f*ck?!” It used to be a treat to wait until the month of the holiday, walk into the store and enjoy each holiday's individual kitsch. Now, it's like walking through a hoarder's garage - creepy, off putting and probably slightly hazardous to one's health.

And it's not just the October/November/December holidays falling victim to this most accursed of fates. In January of this year, I was seeing Valentine’s Day products (which is perfectly reasonable) flocked on the next isle by *Easter* products. Easter? Easter was what in April of this year? Whose dim-witted arse idea was that anyway?

Mid-July, we ended up stopping into a Party City for some reason or other – birthday cards maybe. As I meandered around the store, what should I spy? HALLOWEEN PRODUCTS?! They were hung up on shelves and stacked in boxes being cataloged and unpacked by the eager little high school dropouts that work in the stock department.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a Halloween fanatic. Halloween and Christmas - scary and shiny...kind of like me. That being said, yes, I actually *do* start *planning* my costume in advance – sometimes I even start kicking around ideas as early as right after Halloween the year before as I tend to do custom, real fabric costumes as opposed to cheapie looking store bought poly ones.

Still, I don’t want stores trying to force feed me a holiday *months* before it is reasonable to do so. At least let some of the heat of summer fade a bit before you try to sell me on late fall. I mean I had not even finished properly digesting my Fourth of July barbecue yet and here already, Halloween was being shoved down my throat.

What happened to put out the Halloween stuff until Halloween passes, shift Halloween stuff into Clearance/storage and then put out the Thanksgiving stuff and so on and so forth? I *miss* the days when I didn’t feel bombarded every time I walk into a local mega grocery/tire/lobotomy store with the ghosts of holidays yet to come to pass.

It seems in this society everything is moving faster and faster and faster for no apparent, good reason and this cultural speed fix has bled over into retail sales. Talk about screwing with my internal seasonal clock.

On top of it all, kids often get confused and ask when exactly this holiday or that one is again because their young minds dare to assume that they wouldn’t be putting out stuff 3 months too early.

Is it too much to ask to focus and enjoy one thing at a time before moving onto another? Can I at least *enjoy* one holiday before you start trying to bilk me out of cash for the next one?
Grea Area
Seamonkey Ink