Apparently, the premature removal of Christmas decorations from a Wal-Mart I visited was specific to that store, since two emails related accounts of other Wal-Marts, which conflicted with my own experience. I assumed that all such decisions and timing were uniform throughout the company, but it seems store managers have some autonomy about scheduling. Here were the two responses in Wal-Mart’s defense:

From Celtic Warrior at StumbleUpon.com:

That is just unique to that particular store or Market. I know the store in my town has the overnight crew on Christmas night take all decorations down and move all Christmas items to a specofic place in the store so the bargain hunters coming in on the 26th know right where to find them. This sounds like a case of an overzealous Store Manager jumping the gun. A letter sent to his Market Manager would fix that quick.

From reader Pam:

I read your post about the Wal-Mart store that had all its Christmas decorations down way early. My husband works at one of the Wal-Marts in Anchorage and according to him, decorations were up when the store closed at 6PM Christmas Eve. He believes Christmas is the only day where no one is in a Wal-Mart store. Though they do close for Thanksgiving, management and others work that day to set the stores up for Black Friday. On Christmas, the stores are empty. If that helps any.

I’m happy again.