christmas_shopping

Christmas in September?

Kids across the country have barely broken in their new school clothes, but that hasn’t stopped Walmart from pushing them into their next school break — more than three months from now.

Today, Walmart announced its holiday layaway plan and the top kids toys this year. Before Thanksgiving, Halloween, and even the traditional ­­end of summer Labor Day holiday, Walmart is pushing the country further into the Christmas creep. We haven’t even put our barbecues away yet.

But who needs to live in the moment with all these other regular holidays when Christmas “season” is where it’s at? The International Business Times says it’s never too early to start holiday shopping. Across the pond, The Bristol Post is telling everyone to start prepping for holiday meals. The Chicago Tribune wants you to know that summer is gone and Christmas is here. Officially. Today.

Labor Day, which usually signifies the end of the summer and the beginning of fall (even though that doesn’t start for another couple of weeks), has been completely overlooked by Walmart. In fact, the mega-retailer is overlooking other major fall things, like changing leaves, trick-or-treating, and Pumpkin-spiced lattes (which starts today, PSL lovers).

None other than the National Retail Federation says the “holiday season” typically starts in November, but with sales increasing every year, the Christmas creep has rounded the third base that is October and gone straight for September. They’ve bypassed literally an entire season. What’s Labor Day when you now have four months of Christmas?

Lay far, far away

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, wanted to make sure customers were well aware of all their options this season (and next season) and that it’s easier than ever to buy everything you want with their layaway program. There’s no opening fee, and as long as you pay your final bill by Dec. 12, all you need to do is put down 10 percent (minimum $10). The layaway program begins tomorrow, Sept. 2.

Walmart’s already decided exactly what you should buy, depending on what kind of child you have. The store polled children on their favorites based on personalities like “The Boss,” “The Dreamer,” and “The Thrill-Seeker.” Teenagers, or course, just get video games.

Walmart isn’t the only one to encourage customers to start spending money before the holidays actually start. The NRF says 40 percent of holiday shoppers start before Halloween. It’ll be interesting to see if Walmart pushes that number up next year.

If you’ve already been seeing Christmas merchandise, you weren’t imagining it. The Chicago Tribune says Hobby Lobby has had holiday products in stores since June. Hallmark, The Home Depot and even the U.S. Postal Service had merchandise in July. But after Labor Day, other major stores like Macy’s and Target will start shelving their holiday products.

If year-round Christmas actually sounds good to you, you should head to Orlando. It’s now Christmas forever at this new holiday-themed bar.

Posted in: Budgeting & Saving, Family, News
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