Holiday Shopping Season Kicks off Early

PARAGOULD, AR -- It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for a lot of the shops in Paragould, but is this holiday kickoff starting too early?  Looking down the street in downtown Paragould, Christmas is already visible in the first week of November.

"We're ready.  We're ready for Christmas," said shopper Gretchen Greer.

Unique Designs in Paragould is one of the stores that has hit the ground running.

"We say shop early and then you can enjoy your festivities at home," said Katrena Hill.

An open house called "Shop Paragould 1st" is on Saturday and the workers in the shop want to surround their customers with holiday cheer.

"They may come in for something for their home but as soon as they come in and see the Christmas decorations it really gets you in the spirit," said Hill.

"I think it's great.  It really gets you in the Christmas mood.  Of course, I love Christmas.  It's my favorite time of year anyway," said Greer.

It seems this starts a little earlier every year, many stores start getting Christmas decorations in as early as September.

"It was the day after Halloween and I saw Christmas stuff up but that's part of it.  I think this is the favorite time of year for everybody," said Greer.

Many stores say they need that jump start to compete with other stores.

"You have to get ready for Christmas early.  Everyone else does," said Judith Taylor Wheelis, owner of Alvin Taylor Flowers & Gifts.

Many of the big "box stores" are offering special early savings, slashing prices way before Black Friday.

"We try to do as many sales as we can through Christmas to bring people in because everybody loves a deal at Christmas," said Taylor-Wheelis.

And while Christmas in November does seem early for some, for others it's just another reason to get it done.

"I just don't get the feeling that its too early because I'm not a last minute person and I like to start early," said Donna Randen.