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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – like it or not

Submitted by on Sunday, 15 November 2009 No Comment

You know retailers are starting to get obnoxious about rushing the Christmas shopping season when even a 6-year-old picks up on it.

“Look at that Christmas tree,” Big Guy said, gesturing at the display front and center at the post exchange a couple of weeks before Halloween. “It’s too early.”

I chuckled as I remembered having told him the exact thing the week before, when he wanted to buy a tree for sale farther back in the PX. “It’s still three weeks until Halloween. No way.”

Big Guy and I are seriously swimming against the tide, though.

A house a few blocks away already has a Christmas countdown billboard on its front stoop. The Christmas-themed commercials were nonstop during sports telecasts today. The first toy drive on post started two weeks ago, and the second begins tomorrow.

Oddly enough, the direct mail and email pitches have slowed this season. Except for the emails every 10 minutes from Snapfish and Oriental Trading, not a creature is stirring in my inbox – that could be because I changed email addresses in June. I’ve received only one Fisher Price and one Target catalog each via snail mail so far, and there was nothing last week.

I don’t suppose that matters because even with as little TV as I watch, I’m getting the message: “Christmas is coming. Start spending now!”

I understand why retailers are panicking. According to a Gallup poll conducted in October, Americans plan on spending less this year than in any year since 1991, excluding 2008. Even more disquieting to the vendors of holiday cheer: In years when the economy’s struggling, Americans tend to ratchet down their estimates in November and December.

Looking at it from that perspective, a plan to try to separate more people from more dollars as early as possible makes sense in theory at least.

It just happens to not work on me.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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