I’ll be the first to admit that my personal list of pet peeves is relatively extensive. Chewing food with one’s mouth open, drivers who fail to use their turn signal, and rudeness in general. Over the past few months, though, there are two peeves of mine that have grown increasingly annoying and unbelivable.
These annoyances stem from my current part-time job in retail. If you read my update post back in June, you’ll know that I’ve been working at Kohl’s. In the past five-ish months, I have had the opportunity to observe this retail giant’s practices, specifically regarding the holidays, and I have to be honest: I’m plain sick of it.
And it’s not just Kohl’s. If you’ve stepped into, let’s face it, ANY store, you’ll know that it’s been “Christmastime” since about September.
Thus, my holiday pet peeves:
1) Christmas in September
Perhaps not all retail stores begin decorating for the holiday season in September, but Kohl’s most definitely did. I know this because I participated. Around September 12th, the fake snow, strings of lights, thousands of ornaments and artificial trees (read about my opinion on these trees here) were dusted off and placed on the floor.
The Halloween decorations (which had been on sale since August, by the way) were pushed aside and several areas of the store were transformed into what Kohl’s considers the perfect winter wonderland.
In between attempting to remove the glitter from my hair and face and trying to breathe normally again after inhaling the delightful synthetic snow known as “flock”, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into.
I completely understand why every retail store wants to push Christmas/December holidays as early as possible. They know that when shoppers see the gleaming Christmas displays, they will immediately get in the holiday mood, also known as the mood to shop.
But to me, the intrusion of Christmas merchandise in September/October is excessively early. Around the time when children have just begin school, we are already focused on a holiday three months away? For all of the advice and life rules that suggest we should take things one day at a time, why do we make an exception for this materialistic standard?
If decorating for Christmas in September wasn’t enough, my ears were graced with holiday music on November 1st. The day after Halloween. Because that’s clearly the appropriate time to begin seriously celebrating the season.
It seems with the amount of time that holiday merchandise is in stores, we might as well “celebrate” Christmas year round and forget about other holidays. We seem to always be in a rush to begin the Christmas season, which leads me to my next pet peeve…
2) The neglect of Thanksgiving
With the constant focus on December holidays, Thanksgiving is definitely the most overlooked holiday. With the radios already playing Christmas music, and every other commercial announcing this year’s earlier time for every retail store to open for Black Friday, it’s no wonder why the day to give thanks is really just the day before Christmas begins for real.
This is clearly evident in Kohl’s and other stores, too. If you’re looking for anything to do with Thanksgiving, you’ll find a display or two of decorations and maybe even some kitchen related items. And that’s it. But with every corner you turn, you can find Christmas gifts, decorations, etc.
Once again, I know why stores primarily focus on Christmas. But, there has to be a line somewhere.
On a related note, the New York Times recently posted an article about shoppers’ rejecting Black Friday shopping that begins on, you guessed it, Thanksgiving (read that article here). There are so many things wrong with opening a store at 10 p.m. on Black Friday, but one of the main issues is the employees of these retail stores.
Doesn’t everyone deserve to spend Thanksgiving DAY (which ends at 12 P.M.) away from work? Especially the retail employees who will have to wake up in the middle of the night anyways to head into work for Black Friday? I know I begin work at 2 a.m. on Black Friday, and some of my fellow employees will begin work at 11:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
It’s simple: Christmas has overtaken Thanksgiving. Actually, Christmas has overtaken every holiday, and store, and our minds and our real reasons for celebrating the holiday in the first place. What is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” IS the year. And it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas because retail stores make it that way. Merry Christmas!
What are your holiday pet peeves? Do you agree with the New York Times article?