“The new Hallmark Wish Book is out,” my wife said to me in a matter of fact tone of voice.

“Already, it’s only July, aren’t they kind of rushing things?” I said surprisingly.

“No, we got several catalogs today that had end of the season sales and the summer only started two weeks ago,” she answered back.

“QVC is having their Christmas in July shows,” she added.

“What will they sell at Christmas time then?” I said.

“Water skis!” she answered.

I opened the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog to see the new pre-lit Christmas trees.

“Tis the season,” I thought to myself.

The one thing I hated about being in retail was that you were always six months ahead of the real season when it came to merchandizing a store. The day after Christmas, while half your staff was handling returns, mark downs, sales, and getting ready for inventory, the other half of your crew was setting up summer furniture, barbecue grills and summer toys. During the lazy, hazy days of summer you were having all the Christmas vendors coming in and you were putting in orders for Christmas goods. Talk about your world being turned around. I did not know what season it was outside of the store. Trying to predict what was going to be the hit of the Christmas season in July was hit or miss. I would actually hear people complaining about how retail was rushing the seasons. That was back then, now it is the opposite. The consumer wants Christmas goods out as fast as the retailer can get it out on the floor. Christmas ornaments, trees, deck the halls items, toys, and fruit cakes. If the consumer had their way, Christmas markdowns and sales would be right after the back to school season and they would want summer goods out on Christmas day and so would the retailer. According to Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays, Disciple Luke’s account of the birth of Christ, “suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night.” Shepherds were not in the fields during December. So maybe Christmas should be celebrated in the month of July; and maybe the retailers will make it happen one day.

To one and all, have a Merry Christmas and a great summer.

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