Items for decorating and crafts go out on shelves long before the gift items do.
Lights and outdoor decorations should be going out any time now. Given the touchy economy, we may see stores put those items out even earlier so that folks see it, and have an extra payday or two to purchase those items before they start focusing solely on gifts. Decorations that don't sell either have to be stored for a year or sold at a huge discount and merchants may be trying to avoid that.
To those counting the days Christmas may seem far away, but go through it again and count the number of paydays between now and then and you get an idea of what retailers are up against.