Some of us haven’t even carved our pumpkins and stocked the candy dish with goodies for the trick-or-treaters and already the commercialization of Christmas is poking its nose in our collective face.

Christmas brochures for cookies, meats, candies, pre-lit Christmas trees are clogging the Inbox – and the mailbox.

The Hallmark Channel is already promoting its Countdown to Christmas that begins later this month.

Pray tell, what happened to Thanksgiving?

The whole push, of course, is to get shoppers in the mood to buy, spend and spend some more.

The National Retail Federation announced today that it expects holiday retail sales in November and December – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent for a total of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year.

“Our forecast reflects the very realistic steady momentum of the economy and overall strength of the industry,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a news release. “Although this year hasn’t been perfect, especially with the recent devastating hurricanes, we believe that a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence will deliver retailers a strong holiday season.”

Christmas falls 32 days after Thanksgiving this year, one day more than last year, and is on a Monday instead of Sunday, giving consumers an extra weekend day to complete their shopping.

This year’s forecast would meet or exceed last year’s growth of 3.6 percent and the five-year average of 3.5 percent.

Image Sources

  • Christmas presents: Pixaby