Shoppers focused on Christmas with Halloween over

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Halloween is over, and you might expect people to shift their focus to Thanksgiving now, but that’s not the case for everyone. Some shoppers are already preparing for Christmas.

The day after Halloween is the beginning of the Christmas season for many shoppers, and some begin those efforts at the Christmas Village Festival at the BJCC. The five-day event began with a VIP event on Halloween. It opened for general admission Thursday and runs through Sunday.

“I think it’s something that a lot of people look forward to,” Monty Ballard, president of Style Advertising, said. “This is really the kickoff to the season. And a lot of people come expecting to find what they want. And a lot of people finish their Christmas shopping right here at Christmas Village.”

The event features more than 700 vendors, including artist Judy Buchanan, who’s been coming to the festival since it began 36 years ago. She sells paintings and other artwork and sees hundreds of customers each year who are eager to get a head start on their holiday shopping.

“You’ll see these ladies have shopping bags. They truly come here to shop for Christmas,” she said. “It’s a little unusual the first day being Halloween, but it’s great.”

The day after Halloween also serves as a milestone for local shops like Alabama Goods in Homewood. Co-owner Sherry Hartley says she started setting up Christmas displays this week with ornaments, gift baskets and assorted decorations. She knows many people want to finish their shopping early, so she’s offering deals like free-shipping on certain items to try to cash in.

“They’re shopping now,” she said. “And we have a lot of out-of-town shoppers who come in, and they come in and shop for Christmas, as well. So if they’re coming in during this month, then they’re going ahead and taking care of their shopping.”

Big retailers also catch the Christmas spirit early. Brad Sloan, who manages Lowe’s on Hwy. 280, says his Christmas displays have been up for about three weeks. And he’s already seeing an uptick in business as shoppers try to accomplish two things at once.

“True, dedicated Christmas shoppers know that they want to get it early, or else it’s going to be gone,” he said. “We notice a lot of times people getting their Halloween and Christmas together.”

He says early shopping is a wise idea because they may not restock many holiday-oriented items once they’re gone. 

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