CLINTON — A jumble of Halloween, Christmas and other seasonal items can be found in the Gateway area, as retail stores are preparing for the upcoming holidays.
The garden center in Wal-Mart has been taken over by Christmas decorations, with the last items going in last week. Store Manager Jason Dennis said they started putting up the Christmas displays three weeks ago.
“Every year there is something different and new this year,” Dennis said.
Wal-Mart also eliminated the lay-away fee for the holiday season.
This year, Wal-Mart is featuring toys “Chosen by Kids.” The company brought 1,000 children, ages 18 months to 10 years old, together and allowed them to play with various toys, deciding which ones they liked best. A list of the top 20 favorite toys was compiled.
“So whatever those 1,000 kids chose, we brought into the store,” Dennis said.
Paul’s Discount started adding Christmas items to the store last week. Most of the trees, trimmings and other Christmas decorations have already come into the store.
“It gets earlier and earlier,” seasonal buyer and manager Randy Pennock said.
Most of its seasonal section is still filled with Halloween candy, costumes, decorations and lights. Pennock said these items were put on the shelves in the middle of September.
“The pumpkins and the bags and all the outdoor statues and the things,” Pennock said. “For the last couple of weeks they’ve been moving kind of well.”
With Christmas items going in, Pennock is excited about some of the “neat” items available this year. After visiting different seasonal shows, he expects outdoor décor to be big. He added that one of the big themes will be candy land, with a great deal of pastel ornaments and candy on trees.
“We try to keep unique things,” Pennock said. “And I think we have more for Christmas this year than we ever have.”