Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Abruptness of the Holiday Spirit

This is normal: As soon as a holiday or major, world-wide event happens, one day later, all the stores and public buildings are completely dressed up and themed as the next big holiday/event.

Halloween was last weekend. Right now, local stores are preparing their Christmas decorations.

As a sort of satire, I'm putting the "what I'm doing" as Christmas. As of this post, it's in 47 days.

Big money is attractive. Businesses are attracting people with early-bird Christmas specials. It's a marketing technique. Advertise as early as possible, and watch the people flood the market.
There was a saying I read once in a book chronicling McDonald's rise to prominence. I'd read this book throughout grade nine and ten in my school library, every morning before class. This was before the sparks flew with new friendships and better things to do came along.

The saying was this: "Early to bed, early to rise; Advertise, advertise, advertise."

I forget where it came from, I just remember reading it in that book (called "Big Mac"). I guess the way that business go about holidays is based on that saying, or something like it.

Besides, people go crazy around these times. "These times" haven't happened yet, though. They would normally occur around mid-late December. But then again, "these times" are happening. Local stores and enterprises are encouraging it. Encouraging people to go nuts trying to get gifts and Christmas-themed products and trees and all that stuff.

I remember reading about people who were badly trampled over in attempts to enter a store in December. The store had opened and people had burst in, trying to be the first to snatch whatever items that were for sale that Christmas (everything). The unfortunate few who were helplessly, carelessly walked on (stampeded on) had to be eventually hospitalized, when someone must have noticed that the floor near the doors was soft and coloured red for some reason.

But still, it all goes the same. People will stand outside Wal-Mart, waiting for it to open, as if they were waiting in line for their audition on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. And, what really annoys me, the music. Did you know that "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" was created as part of a Christmas promotion in a Chicago-based department store in 1939? 70 years later and it hasn't left the department store, IGA, Wal-Mart, Sears, and whatever commercial enterprise. It's seasonal. I've heard it every year all my life. Yes, I admit that I probably have listened to the same Madness songs enough times to triple that, but still, I guess I just like Madness more than Christmas-themed music. Every time I go to Independent, a Christmas ballad, or carrol, or classic, in every genre and format, will be playing.

Christmas is a big thing. It's probably the biggest holiday of the year, what with decorations and gifts (mostly the gifts) and music, etc., etc. It's universal. Unlike Halloween, where it's fun for the children, people of all ages can enjoy it. Everyone can get in the fun. Everyone can receive gifts. Everyone can go and stand for eight hours at a store entrance, then carelessly overtake the nervous young attendant that was assigned the scary prospect of opening the doors for the day. I wonder if they'll notice the soft floor? Or how much of it is soft? "Hey, there was this 'snap...' oh, look, a Hotwheels car set for $2.99! On sale!"

As for me, well, sure, I'll be celebrating. Somewhere around December 13 I'll get around to setting up the Christmas tree while my mother watches So You Think You Can Dance Canada back-to-backs. Maybe we'll go shopping around then too, just not very much.
Then, Boxing Day will come. Then, we're going out. We're going to get the best stuff at ridiculously low prices. Then I'll get the gifts I hope for (mostly a wide-angle camera lens and/or a small, inexpensive, camcorder, my third this decade). Boxing Day was the day I got my DSLR camera last year. Great price. I don't know why most people don't buy their gifts then.

Oh, yeah. Right. The local merchants have the business of making everyone aware that Christmas is right upon us and that we'd better get into full-spending mode. As soon as possible.

Advertise, advertise, advertise.

*Note: I got the original information of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" from The Best Book of Useless Information Ever. Awesome book!

-Justin C.

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