Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Times A Comin'

Well, it certainly seems to come faster each year, doesn't it? Is anyone else annoyed by the way the "big box" stores push the holidays now? Literally this year at our local Walmart there was Halloween stuff out in August even before the Back to School stuff, and then a week into October they started shuffling Halloween stuff out and Thanksgiving in, then a week before Halloween you could hardly find Thanksgiving stuff and they were bringing out Christmas stuff...and no one in the store knows where anything else is, or is supposed to is insane!

The kids and I went out on Friday night to get stuff to make a gingerbread house. I also planned to let them each pick one special treat thing besides the candy decorations so they could enjoy them after the house was made...and it was next to impossible to find anything besides candy canes!! They were moving all that stuff nearer to the front of the store...and so I asked the store manager, who was actually doing to the moving, "why?" Well, the answer was that Christmas was less than two weeks away so their "edibles" department was being moved nearer to the checkout to encourage "impulse", mind you, I parked the complete opposite end of the parking lot from the main entrance because ALL the Christmas stuff is down in Lawn & Garden, which has their own doors! WHY would I, a shopper who PLANNED to buy that type of stuff, hike my butt and 3 kids all the other way to the end of the store where someone who DIDN'T plan to buy that type of item be encouraged to just by seeing it?!? Our Walmart has always been screwed up...for the last ten years, it seems! I did work there a little over 9 years ago and I was in Sporting Goods...I can't tell you how many customers were shocked that there was actually an associate in that department WHEN one was needed...and I understood because usually someone has to paged because SG is like hardwares and fabrics/notions, they are "covered" by someone from L&G or Automotive/TLE...nuts, huh?

Anyhow, I was less than thrilled at the you know the manager's "helpful" suggestion? A free movie rental from the store's Redbox kiosk, which again, is at the MAIN entrance of the store, a good haul from where the kids and I were, it was FREEZING outside, so we definitely would not checkout at the front, get the film, then walk to the car OUTSIDE the store! I asked how this helped me, I didn't even plan to rent a movie that evening and didn't know if I had my credit card on me!

Well, instead, he offered to have an associate walk to the front of the store, bring back what the kids and I wanted, and that way we didn't have to fight through the crowd...oh, yeah, sure, make a lady with three kids wait for someone to walk there, and back, and risk them not having the right thing? What did we end up doing? WE LEFT. I took the kids to McDonald's instead, we got a Redbox there using the Walmart given code, had a nice dinner, I was a little upset that they have AVATAR the movie toys in the Happy Meals, I don't think it's appropriate, especially since the movie is rated PG-13, and my kids are 9, 6, and 5...I spoke with a manager about that and she was actually able to get some Space Boy and My Little Ponies out of their storage for the kids, and my kids liked them better anyway. She also gave us apple pies and eggnog milkshakes...what a nice lady!! I didn't intend for the kids to get "bonuses" but I just wanted to let the lady know that I felt the toys were inappropriate in a food meal aimed to please kids under 10...and she agreed. She also gave me the info for contacting the office of the gentlemen who is the local Mickey D's franchiser to let him know my feelings, because they have the option of extending the current toys' run, re-running a previous toy, or taking the new toy. She had apparently had a lot of concerned parents comment on it, and hopefully we will make a difference.

Well, that is my rant for the day, which I didn't intend to be a rant at all. If I don't get to post again before Christmas, I hope everyone has a very, very Merry Christmas. To my friends Sue Groffman, Adele Lofthaus, and of course the always amazing man of my dreams, and only in my dreams, Geddy Lee Happy Chanukah and Adele, where's my latkes?!?

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