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October 05, 2007

It's Not Even Halloween Yet

A Holiday-phobe's Guide to Savoring Fall, not Falling for Christmas...

I should have seen this coming. After all, the drum beat to the holiday season pounds earlier each year, but October 3rd. Come on, it's just indecent. We're still waiting for Halloween, not to mention the parade of fall weekends left to savor before Thanksgiving comes.  Nonetheless, among the bills, appointment reminders, and postcard on the successes of a local real estate agent, I found a most unwelcome delivery in my mail yesterday: the Holiday '07 catalog from West Elm. They may call it "Comfort & Joy," but this catalog delivers neither. Chock full of shiny items and rooms staged with pops of red, or purple and fuchsia (the new reds), the catalog includes a decorated Christmas tree, stocked bars and sparkling stockings and tree skirts. I hope they at least hesitated before including the image of a large antler hung with ornaments suspended over a bed (page 12, I can't find it on the website), but there it is. The sad thing isn't the commercialism or the proposal that we fast forwarding our lives and shopping plans, it's the fact that they skipped fall.

It's crazy- fall is a merchandiser's dream, just look to all the extra thick fall fashion issues of women's mags for evidence. For a furniture retailer it should be pounced on, and not in May. Now is the time to think of warming up the home. Even in temperate climates, sensibilities should be moving toward browns and grays, deep reds and blues. Beyond all the accessories this season can push, from bedding, to candlescapes, pillows, curtains and rugs, now is the time to think of updating furniture for the spate of parties happening once November hits. It's time to ditch the too-small dining table for one that the whole family can fit around, or at least add new chairs. It's time to think storage, as summer clothes trade spaces with fall's sweaters and scarfs and warm wool jackets. It's time to focus on entry ways too. More than a spot to ditch coats and boots, this space should be a welcoming clue to the look of the rest of the house.

There's much to do. I still have flip-flops sitting by the door and screens in my windows. I'm wearing shorts. It's October and in Buffalo, NY today it's 85 degrees. Get with it West Elm, don't rush me. I'm just stepping into fall.

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