Sep 252011
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Hello folks.  Today marks the first installment of our Ask A Coot segment!  To submit questions, use the form over on the side of this page or use  Today’s question comes from “Rachael” (names have been changed to protect real identities) in Grand Rapids, MI.

“Rachael” writes: “Dear Cantankerous Old Coots, Long time reader, first time writer. I was at the store on November 1st when I saw Christmas items for sale while the Halloween stuff was just being pulled off of the shelf and the Thanksgiving stuff was being put on clearance. What do you think of that?”

Now in order to get a proper Cantankerous response from your favorite coot, we are all going to respond, independently and then debate in the comments.

Bob answers Rachael’s question with:

“Frankly, I’ve quit shopping anywhere that puts out Christmas stuff before Halloween, and I’ve mostly quit buying Christmas stuff at stores that put it out before Thanksgiving. That means my shopping locations are limited, so I make most presents I give, mostly baked goods like cookies, pies, and cakes.

One of these days I’m going to walk down the baking aisle at Kroger and the sugar is gonna be on a Christmas sale before Thanksgiving…then I’ll have to sharpen my pocketknife and learn to whittle Christmas presents.”

Ralph chimes in with: ”

Dear Long time reader,

You describe a situation that I find very frustrating as well – the stores seem to have a completely different t holiday schedule than I do.  Clearly there is something going on here but it isn’t so clear to this coot what it is.  I think that perhaps there is some kind of evil plan at work to encourage us to buy more, whether from confusion about what holiday is up next or our eagerness to find a bargain.  I think it is really a big game of chicken.  They want their holiday goods up early so that anal compulsive people will stock up.  Then they wait as long as they can hoping that people will get excited about holiday shopping and buy it all.  Then as the holiday approaches, they start gaming us.  They want to clear their shelves so they are willing to cut prices but they wait as long as they can.  Customers are on to this game and so  savvy shoppers wait for the pre-holiday sales.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  If they economy is good,  the stores don’t have to start their sales early.  When they economy is as bad as it is today those sales start right away and escalate.

This coot refuses to play the game any more.  Unfortunately this means that when I want to buy Christmas stuff the week before Christmas, it’s already on clearance and the choices are limited.  The best solution I have come up with is that I buy whatever they are selling when I want to buy.  This, of course means that my Christmas presents are Valentines and our trick-or-treaters get toy turkeys but  somehow it all works out. Those stores won’t get the best of me!

My advice is for you to follow my example and block out all that store propaganda and keep you own holiday schedule like this coot.



And Justin finishes up with: “Dear Rachael, as much as it pains me to say it, this is just the world we must live in now.  I miss the days of seasons to the stores.  When the Fourth of July stuff came out in late June, Back to school sales were Mid august, and you never saw a pumpkin before October 10th.  In those days Thanksgiving was important.  People looked forward to the kick off of Christmas season when Santa Claus waved from the back of the Macy’s parade.

Now, we are just filled with money grubbing Christmas pimps who want to get as much money as they can.  Sure you could call that capitalism and in a way it is, but there should be a freaking law.  My wife wants to put up the Christmas tree this weekend, before Thanksgiving and it hurts my head.  Literally.

It is very hard to have any season.  But until I am in charge (sometime about 14 years after Hell freezes solid) we will have holiday’s early so that the stores can grub all of the cash that they can.  Pretty soon it will be Christmas all year round with a small section of shelf dedicated to the holiday at hand.  And when we fail to spend all of the money that they expect for each little holiday it will dissappear and it will be Christmas all year long.

I am fairly certain that other religions would revolt at that time and boycott.  Hopefully that will solve the problem but it may not.  Be prepared to take matters into your own hands, don’t shop at those stores who have such a need to pimp Christmas for their own gain.  Do your kids a favor and make them something for Christmas this year.

And for the love of all that is Holy and Right, do not give them cash.  They will only be spending it on Labor day merch 2 days after Christmas.

Go forth and revolt, you can build some cool things.


I hope you enjoyed this first question from the Cantankerous Old Coots advice department.  Please send us more!

The comments are open below….we want to know what you think of this feature and of our first question.  Leave a comment below and put this out on all of the social networks you can before your eyes start bleeding.  Me, I am going to play some flag football.


Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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  5 Responses to “Ask a Coot Saturday: Holiday Confusion”

  1. Over here you’re lucky if we even Have Halloween before the Christmas stuff is up. It’s to the point where I wait until nearly Christmas itself before buying presents, because the sales now start before.


  2. A hearty “Hear, hear” from Coot Bob on Justin’s admonition about giving cash! I’ll add store gift cards to that as well. People use the excuse, “That way they can buy what they want!”

    Bullshit. The reason folks give cash and giftcards is twofold:

    First, they really don’t give a damn about the person the gift is for. If they did they’d know them well enough…know enough about them…to know what they’d like to have.

    Second, they are plain, damn lazy. They know what the person would want and just can’t be bothered to go shopping for it.

    A pox on their houses! The only allowable exception is if you have someone like a rich old uncle with so much crap he already has everything, and you can’t afford to pay his next year’s dues at the country club.

    Even then, you can do like I do…make ’em gifts. This year I’m giving tins of these:

    Two people gave me gift cards last year. I’m gonna piss in the cookie batter I use for theirs.

    Bob the (coot) Baker

  3. The early seasons are getting quite ridiculous. I remember when Black Friday first started to become popular I thought that was a bit early. But at least that is the first day After the last major pre-Christmas holiday. So it makes some sense.

    It is crazy and frustrating. I wonder if they think people would FORGET about Christmas if it was not advertised for 6 months.

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