Sunday, December 30, 2012

Am I Guilty of Holiday Creep?

I made this on Christmas Eve. Just because I was feeling it.

I seriously doubt that anyone will argue that retail stores are not rushing the seasons. Think of it as a sort of holiday creep where each one creeps up a little closer to the previous one. The next thing you know, Christmas and Halloween are sharing shelf  space. A number of recent negative comments has me thinking about how this issue applies to artisans and vintage vendors. The question is, it that ok?

A friend posted a photo on Facebook of Valentine Day [8 weeks away] and Easter [3 months away] products in the same row as Christmas clearance. And it's not even New Year's Eve yet! She posed the question wondering if 4th of July displays would be up next week.  Yesterday I was in a large retail store and the customer ahead of me said that the next thing would be selling caskets at the cash register if this "hurry up" mentality continued.

As a tiny business, I have this on my mind. I'm working on a collection of Valentine's Day bags and have decided not to share them on Facebook until After New Years Day. Of course I want to put them up now because the window between New Years and Valentine's Day is so short if you actually make the items you're selling. But doing so will make me part of the problem.

Other retailers struggle with the same issue as seen in this Publisher's Weekly blog post. A mother shares her perspective in this post written in November where she opens with ordering a coffee at Starbucks in October and getting a coffee cup with *snowflakes.* Read the comments at the end of each article for a full understanding.

Don't get me wrong I'm no purist. The bag above will most likely tag along when I go the the Fancy Flea in April. I sold the first one in minutes and the price was quite reasonable considering the time it took me to make it. I do think that abusing the time separation between holidays results in consumer disdain for the product regardless of its quality or value.

So, I'm curious to know how you are handling this issue.



  1. I think it's a matter of survival. If we don't show our wares early, others will and we'll miss our chance! I put Christmas together at my shop shortly after Halloween -- earliest ever -- and I can't believe how much I have left! Believe me, I'd like nothing better than to start decorating for Christmas, in my shop and in my home, the Friday after Thanksgiving. Sadly, that's way too late nowadays.

  2. I have to agree with you especially when it comes to Christmas. The shop where I have my booth advises decorating for Christmas on December 1st. I has Christmas up and going right at Thanksgiving. We do a big fall promotion and I couldn't overlap. However, I'm going to be making Christmas bags in July this year.

  3. Tim Burton predicted all this in the Nightmare Before Christmas.

  4. Interesting thoughts. Personally as a small business myself I think it is easy to get caught up in trying to get our wares out early so we can been seen. I think there has to be a balance. A rule of thumb I've always heard is that at least a month (or a month and two weeks before) before the next holiday.

  5. Via Facebook

    I think when something is handmade especially in the US, it's not too early. Most people know handmade things take time to make. Also if you don't show it early you might miss sales because you never know what is going to be a big seller.

    It's hard with retail. You have customers out there buying for Christmas at the end of summer to beat the rush so they can enjoy the season, soo you need to know who your customer is and accommodate them. They are your bread and butter at the end of the day and...don't be so hard on yourself, as small business we just have to do what is needed to keep the small business alive

  6. Via Facebook

    Christmas..hand crafts are expected I think early. Christmas in July is not for the retailers to put out Christmas, it was for them to put out the wares that crafters needed to be ready for Christmas..They are tooo my opinion....

  7. I have to agree with all of it:) As a consumer I don't like feeling rushed thru my holiday but as a shop owner I completely feel like I have to be planning and getting out holiday items sooner rather than later! It takes a tremendous amount of time to create items by hand and build displays so you have to start early or you just run out of time. I know for me too when I make something for a holiday I'm usually so excited about it I can't wait to share! I think for small shop owners we have to have a little more time because more love is in our details but for mass producing stores it does feel too early and I could do with them slowing it down a bit:)

  8. I think it's an issue of competition...but personally I just opt to totally IGNORE Christmas, till I'm good and ready to deal with it. It would be nice if we could get Thanksgiving over before being bombarded with Christmas Joy! lol ~Tammy