Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Every year the shopping malls and other retail establishments seem to put out their Christmas decorations earlier.

This year, Halloween had just finished, and almost immediately many stores had their jumbo candy canes, reindeer and snowman displays out. Even the fat jolly hold elf – St. Nick – could be seen in many store windows.

Photograph of the Christmas light display at G...Image via Wikipedia

Understandably, with the global economy being in the toilet retailers want to get a head start and salvage something of this year. And for the retail industry, Christmas time is the make it or break it point in the life of the retail store.

Christmas sales account for over half of most retail sales. So if a retailer doesn’t make a lot of sales during the holiday season, they may lay-off staff, close earlier, or worse, even go out of business.

That’s part of why retailers jump at the chance to get into the Christmas spirit – and why it appears the Christmas decorations go up earlier every year.

christmas displayImage by kaex0r via Flickr

Though the downside is we have to listen to Christmas music more, as we walk through the local malls and shops.

Music, incidentally, has been shown to have a psychological impact on us. Play the wrong music, and we’ll feel uncomfortable, often leaving the store in such a rush, we leave without purchasing what we intended to buy in the first place.

The adverse is also true, when just the right music comes through those teeny tin-sounding loudspeakers in the local mall, we’ll stay in the store longer, and be more likely to purchase not only what we originally wanted, but many other things which we really didn’t need.

Still, the holiday season appears to come earlier and earlier every year. So much so, that by the time the holidays arrive, we’re literally “Christmatsed Out.”
So much for the holiday spirit.

I actually like the holiday season, it is one of two times in the whole year I get to tell people what I want or need – the other time being my birthday. I accept gifts for what they are no matter what I think of them, a gift is a nice thing to receive even if it isn’t something I normally would use or buy. But by telling those that usually get me a gift ahead of time what I need or want, really helps.
It helps my friends and family spend less time and money in the stores finding things that either don’t interest me, or for which I have no use for, while giving them guidelines as to what I would like and use.

Two candy canes, a traditional one (left) and ...Image via Wikipedia

It also gives me an excuse to ask my friends and family for suggestions as to what to get them. This way I spend less time and money in the stores, and I know they will really enjoy and make us of the gift.

Though it does take away SOME of the surprise – not all – SOME.

Everyone knows what is on the others list, but no one really knows what things on the list were purchased, and which ones were not.

Still, Christmas keeps starting way too early every year at local malls and other retail establishments. But I suppose that is all part of the holiday shopping season too.

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