Halloween Already?

This morning one of those “Spirit Halloween” trucks barreled past you in order to get to the strip mall and set up shop.  The “Spirit” chain has been around for some years now;  you still wonder what those folks do during the other seasons of the year.   And why is the Spirit Halloween dude in such a rush? You are trying to enjoy living in the present, but it’s difficult when you have Halloween trucks whizzing by.  (Maybe you just can’t believe that summer is ending!)

But can’t we get through ‘back to school’ time first, and then focus on Labor Day weekend?

The grocery stores are pretty good with their seasonal approach.  Your neighborhood store set out the ketchup, chips, paper plate and hot dog display about three weeks prior to the 4th of July, not two months.  You were thankful to be reminded, and made a mental ‘note to self’ to crunch up to the attic and try and locate your July 4th decorations, no matter how corny and tired they may be–some flags, some red, white and blue twinkly lights and some fold-out cardboard centerpieces of the statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam (gifts from your Danish neighbors).

Cracker Barrel, however, is always WAY ahead of you and everyone else.  Bless their hearts–their gift shop is where it’s happenin’.  They are in the holiday business, flat-out, year-round.  They know that folks wait for hours for tables and want to wade through cute merchandise.  They have set up Halloween tables as well as Christmas ones--chock-full of mugs, stockings, signs, and other knickknacks.  But if one so chooses, you can skip the seasonal tables and instead retreat ‘back in time,’ with the Moon Pies, horehound candy sticks, and old episodes of Andy Griffith.  For some reason, in this old-timey store, it does not make you cringe to have holidays thrust upon you, as you watch sweet elderly ladies pick up candle holders, faux wreaths and Santa pillows.  Instead, it is endearing.

You realize it would take “Spirit Halloween” weeks to set out all of the skeleton, witch, vampire and character costumes, by category and size.  Much less all of the paraphernalia:  skulls, spears, tridents, swords, cauldrons, blood-pumping breastplates (your son’s 6th grade prop) and such.  They do deal in bulk and mega-volume, and not in quaint small tables.  You should know; you’ve spent hours in their store, having an absolute blast.

Then you read this press release from their website:

NEW YORK, October 29, 2009 – Spirit Halloween, the country’s leading seasonal Halloween retailer, announced today that its 2009 Spirit of Children campaign has successfully raised a record-breaking one million dollars in customer, vendor and partner donations as well as merchandise contributions. One hundred percent of the money raised will go to improving the comfort and experience of pediatric patients through the purchase of items including books, computers, and entertainment centers, games specifically designed for children with physical challenges as well as toys that are fun, educational and therapeutic for hospital child life departments. This year, Spirit Halloween hosted Halloween parties for children at over 50 participating hospitals. Since its inception in 2006, Spirit of Children has raised more than $1.8 million for hospitals all across the United States and Canada.

You will welcome the chain with open arms and stop by to make a donation to “Spirit of Children” as soon as they open in September.

First, you will enjoy Labor Day.  Maybe you’ll stop by Cracker Barrel, buy a sweet tea, rent a new book on cd,  and see if they have a table set up for Labor Day.

© ReelingintheYears, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to ReelingintheYears with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About reelingintheyears.wordpress.com

A freelance writer who revels in the 1970's...and today. Thoughts on being a baby baby boomer and empty nester. Welcome to the Saturday evening porch.
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84 Responses to Halloween Already?

  1. Andrew says:

    I work at Home Goods, which for anyone who doesn’t know, is like a store filled with things for the home (in case the name didn’t already relate to that). We had our Halloween stuff in July.


  2. It’s all in an effort to get Christmas decorations out faster. They have to get Halloween out of the way early. At this rate Christmas trees will be out in full force by Mid-October.

  3. This makes me sick. Back to school isn’t even over yet (and don’t get me started on how much I hate THAT season) and I already see some neighbors with halloween stuff out. Plus the markets are starting to sell pumpkins already! Will they even last two months? Great post!


  4. It’s earlier and earlier. I just left the Marketing world, and am thankful to be on a regular time schedule, ie. the present. Nice post:)

  5. Hmmm, I have actually seen Christmas things while doing school shopping. Perhaps you need that much warning for Halloween so they can have plenty of money for their charity.

  6. Digital Dame says:

    What’s worse is when Target starts trotting out the Christmas stuff in July.

  7. Great post! I was thinking the very same thing yesterday in the grocery store. All of the candy was set out for Halloween while I was buying watermelon for a BBQ. We can’t even enjoy one holiday before another is knocking at the door! Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  8. Todd Pack says:

    It doesn’t matter how early they start selling Halloween decorations. What matters is that the price of Halloween candy always falls by half on Nov. 1!


  9. About Spirit of Children
    Founded in 2006, Spirit of Children helps make hospitals less scary for kids and their families by providing fun during Halloween and funding all year long to Child Life Departments within children’s hospitals.

    Each year with the help of our vendor partners, Spirit sponsors and hosts Halloween celebrations in over 50 children’s hospitals throughout the country. Members of the Spirit field team bring everything that’s needed in order to have the best party possible from costumes to goody bags. Everything brought to the hospitals is donated by Spirit and our vendor partners. It’s a remarkable event that touches thousands of pediatric patients and brings countless smiles and laughter to children who might otherwise miss out on the joy of Halloween.

    Additionally, throughout each Halloween season all Spirit stores conduct in-store fundraising campaigns. Last year alone we collected over $1.3mm in cash and merchandise donations. All told we have raised $2.3mm for over 100 children’s hospitals since 2007. What makes this program so unique is that at the end of each season, every dollar, 100% of the money collected in our stores or donated by our loyal and passionate customers and vendor partners is given to the Child Life departments.

    Spirit of Children chooses to partner with and support Child Life whose main function is to provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medial treatment. Trained counselors help children and their families cope with the many stresses involved when a child is in the hospital.

    While each hospital is unique in their needs, the money we collect and donate to child life has been used to purchase such educational and entertainment items as laptop computers, DVD players, iPods, flat screen TVs as well as equipment and toys designed specifically for children with physical challenges. In addition to toys and equipment, money raised has been used for such things as; funding field trips, adding staff to keep playrooms open longer and on weekends or developing rehabilitative art programs to name just a few.

    This year our goal is to collect over $2.0mm for 100 children’s hospitals.

    How You Can Help
    If you’re interested in supporting the Spirit of Children program please check back in August to find your local Spirit Halloween store. Donations are accepted in-stores and online from 9/1/10—11/1/10.

  10. urbannight says:

    I like being able to spread out my Halloween spending over a couple months. A little bit each payday. So I appreciate that they start putting out Halloween paraphenalia at the end of August.

  11. I’ve honestly gotten to the point where I don’t know whether we are heading toward some holiday or whether it has just occured. More and more holidays seem to be approaching year-round status. Is it July 4 yet?

  12. Halloween items have been in dollar stores around where I live since the beginning of August from what I can tell. Since autumn is my favourite time of year, I can say that the end of summer is not a sad time at all. It’s when I see Christmas items displayed before even Halloween has passed that I feel a little strange. In any case, I’m looking forward to Halloween this year…it’ll be my first anniversary!

  13. I just ordered my first Halloween costumes last week. Gotta have time to send them back for size exchanges. =)

  14. CrystalSpins says:

    I love hearing about the philanthropic efforts of companies. We don’t have any Spirit stores in my neck of the woods though.


  15. It’s so sad how commercialized things have become. Starbucks has started selling its Pumpkin Spice Latte today…it’s their signature fall flavor & we’re still in summer people. Also I will never forget the time I was in a CVS in OCTOBER & they had a singing Santa figurine & I had to leave the store cuz I was getting annoyed by christmas songs in the FALL! It’s true, we put up our July 4th decor days before…why can’t we do the same with Halloween & etc?

  16. Great post.

    Oh boy – my hubby and I are super guilty of over-loving Halloween! But we do draw the “seasonal marketing” scene there!

    We were just discussing our plans for our annual pumpkin-carving party – and my mother-in-law was going through her recipe books so we could think about the party menu.

    And…our little guy’s Halloween costume just arrived in the mail yesterday.


    School did start on August 16 – so we’re WAY over that hump (and chaos of school supply shopping).

    K of http://www.itsafullnest.com

    • Thanks K–I’ve always loved Halloween, too. We enjoyed hosting a neighborhood Halloween party every year. I think I’m just not ready for summer to end. Also, I’m a brand new empty nester, so for the first time I won’t have kids at home on Halloween. But I’ll be ready for the trick-or-treaters! If you have the costume already, my hat is off to you for being so organized!

  17. Maureen says:

    Great article. I have indeed wondered what the Spirit Halloween people do during the rest of the year.

  18. dawneatscake says:

    Thanks for sharing the information about Spirit’s charity work. I’ve never been a fan of buying overpriced cheap costumes and decorations, but at least a little of my money might help a child a tiny bit.

  19. beckyyk says:

    it is hard to live in the moment…and i do love halloween…but not yet!


  20. sayitinasong says:

    This is all insanity…lol… and the Christmas things will go up at the end of September in some stores (I’m in the UK)- this is just commerce gone mad… what’s the point of seasons anymore…??

  21. Jo Major Ciolino says:

    Here is a thought – by August, stores have (hopefully) sold through their summer merchandise and have empty shelves. They can do one of two things – leave them empty, or move in the merchandise for the next season/holiday. Since most stores do not have exhaustive storage space, the freight comes in and they have nowhere to put it but out on the shelves. Relax – it isn’t about you, or about “rushing” the holidays. You all have full control over what you celebrate and when you celebrate it – ignore the rest. Life is good!

  22. The Perfectly Imperfect One says:

    I find it funny that things seem to pop up so much earlier now than they did in the past. I would like to enjoy the next holiday before beginning to worry about the one three holidays away. Nice post, congrats on being Freshly Pressed 🙂

  23. solshards says:

    People always like to get ready and prepared for the holidays, sadly, it won’t make the days go by any faster. 😦
    Although I do love the smell of Autumn air and the spirit of Halloween, but in the recent years, all the holidays have become too materialistic and it’s killing off the holiday spirit. 😦

    Check out my blog if you’ve the time!

  24. Summer says:

    Loooooool!! I’ve seen that a lot!!!


  25. mandymcadoo says:

    You have to start halloween shopping now! You have to pick out a costume, maybe 2, make sure they work because if they don’t you might have to return it and order something online instead and that can take weeks! and also Halloween is AWESOME!

  26. anwa says:

    Ah, Halloween. I finished planning my costume yesterday, so I’m not really one to talk about it coming too early… I guess it’s just a bit overboard when stores start having Halloween sales in early September.

  27. As if time doesn’t fly fast enough, there’s always a rush to usher in the next holiday before we even properly enjoyed the last one! I’m all for slowing things down a bit. 🙂

  28. I cringe when I walk into stores in early August and see Halloween displays – it’s all too common. I’ve been cringing a lot the last few weeks! My husband and I were debating when we’d see Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations. I say by September. Ho Ho Ho!


  29. Okay, now I’m crying – not about my college freshman son (still being stubborn about that), but for YOU! Tears of joy!!! WAHOO! Congrats on Freshly Pressed!!! YAY!!! Great post – keep ’em coming!

  30. Thanks, Amiable! Your support means more than anything! Your blog is a true role model!

  31. The BC Tech says:

    I hate when people set up decorations really early before the holiday. Happens for every time…

  32. I really wish they would hold off on putting all the decorations out 2 months in advance, however, I personally simply ignore them until a few weeks before the holiday. I never purchase anything holiday related until closer to the actual event but I guess some people do. Great post! 🙂

  33. lbwong says:

    Love Cracker Barrel! Although they are not located in my area, I visited TX in January and got a chance to mingle in their store (and of course, bought some items) and enjoy some good ol’ fashion food. I liked the rocking chairs (for sale but you can sit in them) and the checkers-while-you-wait-table. Thanks for the nice read and congrats on freshly pressed! LB

  34. careohhlyn says:

    this is so very true.

  35. leahsinger says:

    I so agree with you! I love Halloween as much as anyone (in fact, it’s my favorite holiday). But please! Let’s wait until after Labor Day. I refuse to buy my stock of Brach’s Mellowcream pumpkins until October 1.

  36. Usup Supriyadi says:


  37. 2zpoint says:

    Cracker Barrel is near and dear to me any time of day! Your right about those Halloween display’s too I was in the Season Halloween Superstore a week ago. I think the seasonal displays just seem to make time so mechanical and the special days just seem less special because, by the time the day gets here, I am already sick of seeing the decorations for it and I’m just ready for it to be over with.

  38. That is a huge pumpkin!!

  39. I just wish people would wait until the month of the holiday to actually start celebrating it! You should be able to enjoy the holiday at present without having the next one thrust in your face 3 months in advance! People need to slow down and take life as it comes…..quit worrying about tomorrow so much and focus on today!

  40. ryoko861 says:

    Are you kidding? Halloween crap has been out since August! November? Valentines Day junk! Unbelievable!!!

    I don’t think there’s a “Spirit Halloween” in my area. We have Halloween stores, but not the one mentioned. I’ve always believed in making a Halloween costume and the decorations. JoAnn Fabrics used to make a mint off me.

  41. Martin says:

    Great article. You should write more about this topic because most of us are interested in the subject.

  42. sarahnsh says:

    I try not to pay attention to the holiday stuff popping up, because I don’t pay too much attention to holidays in general. I do love crackel barrels, when I’ve visited them, because of all their little trinkets and stuff. Me and my Mom always get up when they get our drink order and check things out.

  43. Great post and so true! What bothers me is that every year the candy bars are teenier and teenier, and yet the price of a bag of candy gets bigger and bigger…aargh!

  44. Lisa says:

    I’m inclined to have Halloween costumes purchased earlier, solely because one year I waited too long and had to MAKE them for my kids. And by “make” I mean fashion something out of glue, magazine scraps, and old milk jugs. My son was the only Darth Vader that year with Martha Stewart articles decoupaged to his milk-jug-helmet, which is actually pretty ironic when you think about it. Martha I am not.

  45. Pingback: Strike a prose! « Big Happy Nothing

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