Let’s talk about the art of acceleration as it applies to the holidays. I am sure you have noticed over the last decade or two that retailers push out the holiday merchandise earlier and earlier. Halloween merchandise starts to emerge in early September and is quickly followed by Thanksgiving supplies. The first sight of Christmas merchandise emerges even before Halloween has passed.
Ah, the commercialization of the holidays…you gotta’ love it. We all may grouse that the retailers push the stuff out far too early, but some of us must be buying early as they keep doing it…indeed, the push seems to get earlier every year. Now in our nation’s tough economic times, retailers are even more hard-pressed to lure in consumers and capture the hard-earned and cautiously spent dollar.
So, Black Friday (a retailer created holiday for retailers) started earlier this year – in some stores as early as Wednesday. Forget about waiting outside in the frigid cold for early AM openings – online sales were available days before in the cozy warmth of your home. Or you could shop on Thanksgiving Day, because what illustrates the meaning of Thanksgiving better than 50% off?
Today I received an email about a Cyber Monday sale that starts today – which is Sunday for those of you still in a tryptophan coma from all that turkey. Cyber Monday is another holiday created by retailers for retailers and is, as best I can tell, the online version of Black Friday – hoped to be the largest online shopping day of the year.
It is one thing to make up your own holidays…I must say I can see some utility in being able to do that…not only for retailers but for real people. I can think of literally dozens of holidays I would like to create, but I will save that discussion for another day.
The real issue here is the acceleration factor. It goes beyond the creation of their own holidays – it is the fact that they then accelerate the holiday they created themselves. If they wanted to accelerate the holiday they created then why didn’t they just call it Cyber Sunday to begin with?
Apparently the joy is in the acceleration process…after all, what is the worth of a holiday that is not accelerated? Everyone wants to get a little ahead of the curve – it is a mindset that has become endemic in our fast-paced society. I can’t say that I am innocent…I know I am part of the problem…but I at least realize that I am part of the problem (that may be weak – but it is something).
I think it is just a matter of time until we celebrate Christmas on the 23rd of December instead of on the 25th. Think about the utility of that…let’s just get the holiday out of the way a couple of days early – by the 25th we could be at the mega after Christmas sales. How many more years do you think it will be until we get there?
Oh, are you concerned that Christmas is supposed to mean more that the sum of its retail connection…do you worry that we are losing sight of the true meaning and reason for the holiday? Yeah…me too.
Day five hundred and ten of the new forty – obla di obla da