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Dear Retailers, Enough is Enough.

Dear Retailers:

My name is Flannery, and I’m a consumer. I’m the person your stores are supposed to be catering to; Jane Q. Public. I’m not happy with you right now, retail stores. Not one little bit. Let me explain why.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. We live in one of the hottest states in the country, and I really appreciate feeling a cool, crisp chill in the air (at 9pm each night, when it finally lowers from the 90s, all the way to the 70s – brrrrr!). I wait expectantly for some of the leaves on some of the trees to show beautiful fall colors. I get excited about the prospect of pulling out favorite, cozy sweaters and stylish boots. I simply love autumn. I love Halloween. Each year I look forward to shopping for spooky decorations and helping my son choose a costume for trick-or-treating.

These good feelings of mine should be ramping up right about now but, instead, they are already being crushed under the weight of glitzy Christmas junk. It’s only September, but somehow many major retailers feel empowered to skip over Halloween AND Thanksgiving, and bombard us with Christmas decorations. In September!

But put my paltry feelings aside, Mr. Giant Retailer. Let me tell you about my son. He’s autistic and has ADHD, and his sense of time is already very, very slow in developing. At 8 years old, we are STILL working on the concept of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Don’t even get me started on “last week” or “next week.”

So what did we find at Target yesterday?

Why, Target, WHYYYY?

Why, Target, WHYYYY?

Do you see what you guys have done? You’ve got an aisle with Halloween costumes, a leftover summer grill on the end cap, and the very next aisle you have a freakin’ Christmas display?!

If this completely jacks up my feelings of happy autumn joy, then what does it do to kids like mine? HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS TO MY CHILD? “Gee son, it’s not even Halloween yet, but while we pick out your costume we can also get some new Christmas decorations for no good reason.”

I want to introduce you to the phenomenon known as perseveration. See, perseveration is when someone gets stuck on a particular thought or topic, and they can’t stop themselves from talking about it, ad nauseum. This means that there will be three-and-a-half months of discussing Christmas at my house. To put it in perspective, that means that I will spend 26.9% of 2013 talking about Christmas.

Now I want to be really, really clear here: this does NOT make me want to buy more Christmas junk. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It makes me feel bitter and angry about giving you one thin nickel toward this holiday crap. Don’t think I’m alone in this, either. With 1 in 88 children being diagnosed on the spectrum, there are plenty of families dealing with this same frustration. I’m even willing to go out on a limb and guess that many non-spectrum families don’t care for this nonsense either.

In short, major retailers, SUCK BALLS. Big, shiny, glittery balls.

Here, suck on these.

Here, suck on these. They came from YOUR store.

And next year? Maybe you could let us actually enjoy one holiday at a time. Because I have no interest in wolfing down a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, loading everyone into the car to go watch fireworks, opening Christmas presents as we sing the national anthem, and then driving home to hunt for Easter eggs.

I don’t need that kind of pressure. We’ve already got enough, thanks.


Disgruntled Autism Mom


About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

23 responses »

  1. Ha ha, grumpy cheers from far away..did not see the glitsy stuff in stores yet but got a brochure in the mail. Not cool at all.

  2. Can I get a “hell yeah!” Seriously… WTF?

  3. The whole three-seasons-ahead retail schedule drives my autistic, ADHD 7-year old into a tizzy…every time. I’m so with you on the one!!

  4. AMEN!!!!!! I am already tired of Liam talking about Christmas!

  5. I am giving you a standing ovation right now!

  6. Amen!!!
    And to add, the twinkle lights, smells of fake evergreen trees and apple spice and laughing Santa’s are about enough to put my little Aspie into a sensory overload!!

  7. karenaspergersmom

    My 18 year-old son was quite disturbed by the Christmas display in Costco yesterday.

  8. Yes!! agree 100%. Scarlet was very upset about the christmas stuff at costco in august and now thinks its christmas time

  9. Great writing, though I doubt for one second they will even think twice about it.. :/

  10. decipheringmorgan

    I. LOVE. YOU! In a completely stalkerish way. Can I boil a bunny for you? Can I? Please? It’s only because I LOVE you.

  11. I know and understand everything she is saying I as well have a son that is on the spectrum of autism with ADHD and some days is hard enough trying to explain why he needs to know math let alone why they sell Christmas in September…

  12. I am with you on this. Saw the Christmas stuff out here as well. My daughter does have some understanding of time but has started working on her list a couple of weeks ago. We will be reviewing it probably daily until Christmas Day… Make for a long 3 months.

  13. Oooohhhh, yeah. THIS is why I send the hubby-man to the store for me, SANS children. I will gladly stay home with my wee ones while my man braves WalMart, never mind taking our major-league sensory-seeking boys.
    If I can avoid retail shopping until after Easter, I will. 😀

  14. Yes! My son’s homework twice a week is to write about what he did the night before, just so we can work on the concept of time. These people need to calm down. Let me enjoy my pumpkin everything before we move on to gingerbread everything.

  15. sucking glittery balls is forever in my head ! if I had one free minute I would so be tempted to start a boycott of back-to-school Christmas .

  16. LOL, thanks for a great post! I was in Lowe’s last week and felt like Scrooge when I had to tell my three LO’s that it wasn’t quite time to buy Christmas decorations! The glittery balls quote is a good one, but I love the last one even more. Rushing from Thanksgiving to watch fireworks and on to the Easter egg hunt! Classic. I shared on Facebook, hope that’s OK.


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