Like the snow, Christmas shopping season arrives early |

Like the snow, Christmas shopping season arrives early

Susan Wood

If you’re pondering whether it’s too early to shop for Christmas, consider this – some already have a head start.

According to, the bulk of merchants began their holiday marketing efforts last week.

The Web-based service contacted 103 merchants and 1,722 consumers – the latter of which 32 percent said they plan to shop online.

Overall, holiday sales are expected to rise 4.5 percent to $220 billion, the National Retail Federation reported. The Washington, D.C.-based retailer advocacy group cited toys, books and clothing as still topping the list of gifts shoppers plan to buy.

In South Lake Tahoe, the spirit has already kicked into high gear – with hundreds of people showing up Sunday for a holiday faire at St. Theresa Catholic Church for the Barton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

And the tradition has a 30-year history, with items on sale breaking the ranks of run-of-the-mill gifts. Some people were so enamored with what they saw, they considered gifts for themselves.

“Oh, I don’t think they’ll make it until Christmas. But I know I should be buying for other people,” Lynne Bajuk said, referring to the cheeseballs that sell like hotcakes every year.

“You can freeze them,” a worker quickly countered.

A crew of a dozen people make 1,000 to sell over two week’s time.

The auxiliary rakes in at least $5,000 from the holiday faire.

Lisa Maloff comes to the event every chance she gets.

In 40 minutes, she seized four brass reindeer for $100.

“Where would I find something like this?” she asked, holding up her treasured discovery. “I collect reindeer.”

Lucy Sande stashes roosters around her home. She managed to find a yellow one that serves as a top to a dish.

Antique candy trays, crystal clocks – many of the items taken in by The Attic thrift shop for the event looked like something Mom would have propped up on a shelf somewhere.

Bernadette Santana made the rounds with a hint of nostalgia, recalling the time she joined her three grown daughters for the holiday faire.

“I think it gets everybody thinking about Christmas. And sometimes we need acknowledgment of our traditions,” she said.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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