Capital Area Merchants Vie to Plunge Into Christmas Season First

By Cecily Bapp

Published November 20th, 2016

ALBANY —Area merchants throughout the Capital Region are engaged in a take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred, neck-and-neck competition to be the first to erect full-scale Christmas shopping displays.

From Albany to Saratoga and beyond, shopkeepers large and small, and big box chains to Mom and Pop shops, are just about throwing the Baby Jesus at the feet of any possible customer in hopes of nudging shoppers to open their wallets this holiday season.

And though the public has decried the early arrival of Christmas displays, merchants aren’t taking any chances and have leapt into action.

“Now that it is almost Thanksgiving, it’s time to put up the trees,” explained Monty LaBarge, a local shopkeeper. 

Full scale displays of plastic evergreen trees, harrowing light-covered giant snowmen and garish misshapen reindeer composed of twigs and spray-painted with fake snow greeted shoppers who happened upon the displays at area Price Choppers. The shoppers, seeking nothing more than canned cranberry sauce and packages of stale bread, found instead a full-on tribute to Christmas.

“I was shaken to my very core,” a clearly devastated Rochelle Piranha said, shaking her hands emphatically.  “I haven’t even bought the creamed onions yet, much less my turkey. Well, good luck finding those things in any store. It’s wall-to-wall ornaments, tinsel and cheap toys. Did I miss something when they turned back the clocks?”

Although initially confusing to Capital Region residents, marketing experts expect consumers will adjust to the amended holiday schedule. Travis Tromel, advisor to Gov. Cuomo’s Retail Association of New York State explained:

“The Christmas shopping season commences in October, right before Halloween. Right after the first snowfall — and this changes year to year — bathing suits and resort wear gets the big push. The 4th of July is scrapped completely, because who buys gifts for the 4th of July? So by Memorial Day, it’s Back to School, which proceeds smoothly to a combined Halloween/Easter Blowout, then it’s Christmas again.”


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