This was the 2011 Christmas tree at a Phoenix outlet mall; this year's… (Outlets at Anthem )
The first Christmas news release of the year has crossed our desks here at Nation Now -- and it was almost enough to make us reach for the Halloween candy already clogging the supermarket aisles and have a good cry.
The Outlets at Anthem, which bills itself as an upscale factory outlet in Phoenix, announced that it's kicking off the nation's holiday season by hosting America’s tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree, soaring to 110 feet. The kicker?
The unveiling will take place Oct. 25.
That's almost a week before Halloween. Four weeks before Thanksgiving. Nine weeks before Christmas itself.
Are we being Grinch-y, or has "holiday rushing" officially gotten out of control? Valentine's Day candy now shows up in supermarkets when we still have New Year's Eve confetti in our hair. Back-to-school sales signs are posted in store windows before we've had our first summer day at the beach.
It's hard to figure out whom to blame for this cultural phenomenon. Stores eager to rebound from the recession are naturally looking for a way to goose much-needed sales. Media deadlines lead magazines to tout 4th of July cupcakes and newfangled ways to truss a Thanksgiving turkey weeks before the actual holidays.
Further, some people enjoy the trend toward holiday rushing. It keeps them from forgetting something important. Like that Thanksgiving turkey.
We can't blame the Outlets at Anthem, either. If you want to pack up the family and see the colossal tree in person, it will probably take some advance planning.
And the tree certainly sounds like something to see: It stretches the length of 2 1/2 city blocks and will be driven nearly 750 miles from Northern California to Phoenix, according to the news release.
When the tree arrives as planned on Oct. 25, a team of 14 workers will spend more than eight hours a day for two weeks shaping and decorating the tree. A total of 180 strands of LED lights stretching three miles and more than 6,000 ornaments will decorate the tree, along with bows and a 3-foot-tall copper star. Decorating will be completed by Nov. 9, with a formal lighting ceremony taking place Nov. 17.
At least that's only five weeks before Christmas.
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