I was in a store and I heard Christmas music and saw the decorations overflowing the shelves. Only problem is, it was a week before Halloween… really? The recent blending of the Holidays can seem disconcerting. I was looking at Freddy Krueger masks on one shelf and could turn my head to see Frosty the Snowman smiling at me from another shelf. It’s creepy and cute at the same time. I’m old school and the Christmas season should start the day after Thanksgiving, not the middle of October. Even Black Friday is being moved up! Thanksgiving has been taken over by the official start of the Holiday shopping season. Stores are opening at 8 p.m. that night for the folks who just can’t wait those four hours until midnight. I’ve never been able to wrap my brain around going shopping in the middle of the night, except at a convenience store for a nuclear burrito after a night on the town, but a department store for a three-pack of boxers? I’m not buying it, or them. What hot gift item do you need to make sure to get before the store runs out? Who exactly are these people who decide a trip to Kohl’s or Target at 3 a.m. is anywhere near normal? My theory is, these folks don’t actually wake up and go shopping, but rather they work the night shift somewhere and are skipping work to knock out their Christmas gift list. It’s good for me; my kids are grown up and I no longer have to stake out the various stores for sightings of the Tickle Me Elmo or the latest Cabbage Patch dolls. Hats off to the inventor of the gift card — pure genius. Some people argue that you are selling out when you give gift cards, that they are impersonal and lack the excitement of unwrapping a carefully wrapped present. I disagree; how wonderful is it that you can run to the grocery store for a gallon of milk and also get all your Christmas shopping done.
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.