Christmas has been coming early for decades in Grapevine, Texas.
This Halloween around noon, Grapevine began assembling on a lavish Christmas tree even before young children in costumes had gone door-to-door collecting candy from neighbors.
Moreover, Santa himself, accompanied by two reindeer, was seen perched atop the local Reilly-Chance Home Decor & Gifts.
April Rogers, the marketing manager for Grapevine Parks and Recreation, told The Dallas Express that the city actually begins decorating in August. But this year, in the week of Halloween, they “hit the ground running” and decorated the entirety of Main Street overnight.
Grapevine first became Christmas crazy back in 1998 due to the efforts of the late Gayle Hall. Hall, who passed on August 22, 2021, served as the Grapevine director of festivals and events and urged the Texas State Senate to officially proclaim Grapevine the “Christmas Capital of Texas.”
In 2009, Hall got her Christmas wish, and the Texas State Senate agreed that Grapevine offers “one of the most enjoyable experiences of Christmas in Texas.”
Instead of just 12 days of Christmas, Grapevine celebrates a full 40 days of Christmas. Rogers said that last year the city attracted over 1 million visitors to participate in their 1,400 family-friendly activities, including hopping aboard an old train car transformed into the North Pole Express.
“It takes a lot to become the Christmas Capital of Texas,” explained Rogers.
Even outside the Christmas Capital of Texas, however, shoppers have noticed the Christmas decor encroaching upon the Halloween season and usurping Thanksgiving altogether. Every year, Christmas seems to come sooner and sooner, a marketing phenomenon known as the “Christmas creep.”
CEO of American Christmas Dan Casterella confirmed shoppers’ suspicions. American Christmas is a warehouse containing Christmas decorations for retailers in over 30 states, including some of Dallas’ major stores.
Casterella explained in a CBS report that early preparations are necessary since Christmas displays have become increasingly elaborate.
“I think consumers at first glance are a little bit shocked [retailers decorate] before Halloween,” he said. However, “it doesn’t go up overnight.”
Moreover, Dr. Patrick Penfield, a professor of supply chain practices at Syracuse University, attributes early decorations now to the supply chain issues of 2021. Basically, stores did not receive inventory until after the end of Christmas, meaning that retailers have to sell two years’ worth of Christmas inventory.
“[Retailers] have a ton of inventory,” said Penfield. “So, my expectation is that you’ll probably be seeing a lot of sales in the next month or so.”
For Grapevine, however, Christmas could not have come sooner. This year, the city hopes that the Trinity Railway Express will bring even more visitors to the Christmas Capital of Texas.
Grapevine will kick off its 40 days of Christmas during the Carol of Lights on November 21 in the city’s historic downtown.