This is my time of year. I love Christmas! It’s the season of giving and everyone seems a little jollier. You’ve got the great Christmas classics on TV and the radio. Houses and shops are festively decorated. Packages arrive at the house almost daily and cards are delivered with joyful wishes and season’s greetings. And let’s not forget about the eggnog! It’s a happy time to be a happy person. Though this year, the holidays seem rushed and have come out of nowhere, I am getting into the spirit and helping others get into it as well. Baxter has his stocking hung by the fireplace and I am hosting our family’s Christmas get-together next weekend. As much as I love this time, I have some holiday confessions I need to get off my chest.
Friday is expected to be the start of the holiday shopping season. People will line up in the wee hours of the morning to try to score the best deals on electronics, toys, and everything else consumers can get their hands on. It’s essentially the biggest shopping day of the year for bargain hunters and retail chains.
And it gets ugly.
Last year, there were numerous accounts of Black Friday brutality including the story of a woman who pepper sprayed her fellow bargain-hunters, determined to get her paws on an Xbox. Or there was the story of the man who collapsed at a major discount store and later died in the hospital from a prior heart condition. Witnesses were said to have ignored him on the ground and continued with their shopping.
Having worked in retail on the dreaded Black Friday, I have seen what people become and it isn’t pretty.
Is it just me or is the Christmas season starting earlier and earlier each year?
At the end of August last year, I marvelled that Costco, a local warehouse store, was already selling Christmas items when most people were gearing up for Labor Day barbeques. Wrapping paper, artificial trees, and pre-packaged gift sets were out for all to see and purchase. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but, given that I was a new Costco shopper, I figured that the brand had a different retail schedule than the stores I was used to.
Clearly, I was wrong.