Sunday, October 14 2012 00:01

Early Start: Christmas Shopping in October...

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It's the middle of October, and we've officially begun Christmas Shopping. While we're usually prepared, this is an unusually early start for us, lured by good deals and free layaway. Unlike a bunch of grumps that I often see floating around online, I have no problem with stores that start decking the halls before the Fall even starts. Heck, as long as Halloween still gets a proper department of it's own, I'm cool with it.

Having worked in retail myself some years ago, I've dealt first-hand with customers that come into a store with a scowl on their faces and start verbally assaulting the first employee they happen to see, demanding answers as to why the Christmas merchandise is out so early. This is not a new thing.

DC91828In fact, I think a few of the bigger "news" sites have a stock article that they just repost every September with a headline similar to "Have the Holidays Started Earlier This Year?" Regardless, every year there's a bunch of people that act absolutely shocked and appauled at the sight of their first piece of Christmas/Holiday merchandise or decor. Once again, this is not a new thing. The U.S. Postal Service issued the Christmas "Forever" stamps yesterday (pictured, right).

shoppingcartFunny thing about the Holiday Season is that while I love Christmas, I'm a notoriously non-religious man who can easily "take the 'Christ' out of Christmas" since I don't worship the sandled-one. It's just that saying "X-mas" seems a little hollow, because for me - Christmas is all about my two daughters, and making it a magical season filled with Santa Claus, Reindeer, Candy Canes, and the like. That also means some great presents, but without going overboard. Hence, this is the first year that we've really started keeping an eye out for the extreme deals, and when an email from Toys "R" Us hit my inbox this morning with a one-day special on Barbie items at 50% Off, that was enough to get us over to Geoffrey's house for a bit. That Barbie aisle was ravaged by the time we got there. 

Speaking of the Holiday Season, I'll be posting The Rock Father's Holiday Gift Guide this November. 

Are any of you off to an early start this year?

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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