Starting holiday spirit, shopping early

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Holiday garland and lights line the Mesa Mall hallways already, but do the early decorations bring in more early holiday shoppers for stores?

"Christmas is my favorite time of year. I just love all of the family connections and all of the decorations really excite me," said Aubrey Maxwell, who has already started her holiday shopping.

Even though Christmas is still 44 days away, Maxwell said the decorations spark her holiday spirit and get her shopping now so she can avoid the post-Thanksgiving rush.

"It's easier for me to get out and get it done," Maxwell said. "And then I can get little things on the way closer to Christmas. Get my big presents out of the way first."

But for stores, it's more about the influx of foot traffic the holidays bring every year, which doesn't necessarily have to do with the decorations.

"There's a lot more people walking around the mall, but other than that for us, it doesn't change a whole lot," said Chris Kelly, assistant manager for Mesa Jewelers.

However, festive spirits make for more likely buyers, Kelly said.

"It's definitely a lot easier to close sales, get more people buying" he said. "Everybody's wanting to get it done and over with. "

Local licensed counselor Scott Aber said the National Retail Federation has shown the early decorations do spark business, but they could also have the opposite effect by annoying people who want to preserve the spirit for after Thanksgiving.

"It does kind of anger people and they complain about it, but it does work, according to the National Retail Federation," Aber said.

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