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An Open Letter to Hobby Lobby's Christmas Division
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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Dear Hobby Lobby Christmas Division, 

ICYMI, there are a multitude of masses whose chestnuts are roasting, and causing them to consider lighting a few of your stores in Texas on an open fire. Don't get me wrong, I love your place, but I wanted to share some news. I was strolling along in the mighty Dallas/Fort Worth region of Texas when I stumbled upon something I wasn't expecting...you know, in June. The stockings were being hung on the shelves with care in hopes that bargain shoppers would soon be there more than six months early. Come on, aren't we trying to profit and commercialize a holiday just a wee bit much? 

This picture seen here was taken by The Dallas Morning News at a Hobby Lobby store in Mesquite, Texas. And not too long ago, this thing went viral faster than some hepatitis along the Jersey Shore. The symptom for this ailment is called "Christmas Creep," as you may have heard. It's a ill-fated disorder when the brass at any retailer wants to beat everyone to profiteering off Santa as soon as humanly possible. The problem with "creeping" in June is that it does more harm than good, perception-wise. Sure, there's "Christmas in July," which started out as 'Leon Day' (July 25 is N-O-E-L, or Leon spelled backwards). Much like Hallmark invented Valentine's Day to sell more cards during a slow news day, retailers invented this to help with the summer doldrums. 

And now, we have creeping in June. To many, it's just, well, creepy. 

Decking the halls is nice as the leaves change, the pumpkin browns, and the bonuses come rushing to an inbox near you. However, this does not make it the most wonderful time of the year in the eyes of the public. There are some families that enjoy putting on a pair of windjammers and flip-flops to enjoy the beach. They don't want to cut a vacation short because there's a great sale on Yuletide decor. The only sight of children nestled snug in their beds parents want to see in the summer is because they are wiped out from swimming in the pool all day, not because they are jonesin' to put up whatever holiday trimmings were just purchased at the local gift store. 

Maybe the world is becoming more "grinchier" and they could use some festive joy in their lives? Again, in June. Perhaps America is focused on the wrong things during the hot months — the beach, the vacation, the family — and needs to be concerned about adorning the home with pine cones, bulb lights, and fake snow on the windows? It is possible that the "holiday purists" out there just need to get over it and realize there's no shame in commercializing Christmas seven months out of a 12-month year. Then again, most of America has ignored that whole Thanksgiving thing just standing in the way of St. Nick's arrival, so I give up.

You win. There's a reason you work for an amazing, billion-dollar-company, and I do not. There is some marketing strategy there I just can't grasp. However, I just have one question for your skilled team: Is Hanukkah not celebrated that far in advance, or is it just not profitable enough? May want to spruce up the aisles with a few menorahs, blue and silver tinsel, and a glistening Star of David in the window. Who knows? That may attract another key demographic for you not vacationing. 



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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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