Black Friday is just the beginning!
Without so much as a decent burial to Thanksgiving the nations marketing firms have once again proceeded with a full frontal assault upon your financial statement or loss thereof.
As a child I would count down the days towards Thanksgiving (purely due to my mass enjoyment of gorging delicious holiday food), then the day after would begin another count down towards Christmas. Lying in bed at night thinking 29 more days, then 28, then 27 and so on until Christmas Eve was upon me! During this period I looked forward to Christmas activities at school, Church, Christmas lights hung around the town square, cold wet weather, Christmas music, all the holiday specials (Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch and so on) and yes even a little Christmas shopping. You see when I became a little older my mother would drop me off in town to spend some time Christmas shopping on my own. It was fun, made me feel as though I was becoming an adult and there was always just enough money left over for a one pound bag of M&M’s that inevitably made it home to my sock drawer where I would gleefully shove handfuls into my face when no one was around! Christmas was fun, easy and all within the context of roughly 30 days.
The marketing guru’s of the time, while still looking to vie for every penny you held, hoping to help adjust their year-end statements; held to Christmas being a sacred, specified period of time. Values were still present and accounted for; family was still a number one priority!
Today my children can’t wait for Christmas! Which in today’s high stress, high pressure environment astounds me! They chomp at the bit in anticipation of that glorious morning when their year-end performance reports come back.
Dad: Hey little Peter wont you step into my office?
Dad: For this year end review which qualifies your interests (Santa’s wish list) to be forwarded upstairs, I am trying to get a feel for how you spend your day … so, if you would, would you walk me through a typical day, for you?
Peter: Well, I generally wake up at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door – that way mom can’t see me, heh heh – and, uh, after that I just sorta space out for about an hour.
Dad: Da-uh? Space out?
Peter: Yeah, I just stare at the ground outside; but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work
(In case you didn’t notice that was an obscure “Office Space” reference)
But those 15 minutes of actual work pay off as little Peters Santa’s list makes the grade and is pushed up the ladder to corporate! Santa will be placing little Peter on the nice list today.
Today Christmas is filled with pressure! Pressure brought to you courtesy of the retail industry! It’s not enough to have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by family and friends. It’s not enough that you live on a fixed a budget and are doing the very best you can with what you have. It’s not enough to be thankful for your health, a roof over your head, well adjusted children earning a great education. It is not enough; it’s not enough it’s just not enough! No! During Christmas you are supposed to stand in long lines, maxing out every credit card, singing Christmas carols, sucking a Starbucks while getting shoved to floor during a Black Friday event. Buy, Buy, and Buy! Who cares what the economy is doing! Just ask the car industry! Buy a Lexus! Who cares that you are on welfare! Purchase a 52 inch TV that you can never pay for! Who cares that your family is now down to one income! Its Christmas Damn it and for it to the very best Christmas ever you need to outspend, outlast, and overcome all financial obstacles for people to still love you! Just ask the talking navigation system in the Jarrod commercials.
What exactly is the message most marketing agencies are passing along today? Holiday cheer? Uh no. Betterment of mankind? Uh no. Helping your fellow man? Uh no. Nope its nothing more than buy, buy, buy! My littlest reminded me yesterday that Black Friday is the only true savings day! It seems that it’s perfect for all parents to score really cool toys! Who are ad executives speaking to again?
Apparently Christmas is so all encompassing within our lives that it needs to be celebrated starting in October! Visited a Wal-Mart lately? That’s right, over by the gardening section; nothing says chrysanthemum like a new set of Christmas lights and a blow up Santa! Scare the Halloween right out of Halloween by spending Christmas dollars now! Santa knows how to make Halloween its bitch!
(Actual picture taken at a Wal-Mart in October)
The phrase “holiday season” has been stretched to its useful limit when Target starts advertising the “holidays” during the World Series! Snowflakes, Christmas Presents, couples hand in hand walking blissfully through the snow as a big white dog with a target on his eye (presumably an injury from the war) strolls down main street spreading Holiday cheer that can only be obtained after spending all of your hard earned money at Target! Also from watching this commercial, when you shop at Target in the snowy regions you don’t get wet or have a runny nose! Just an observation.
Back to Black Friday. Marketing genius I tell you! Not only have you stressed every shop-o-holic to the limit by announcing this day of spending infamy, but ad executives have created a self generating existence that will go generation after generation! No longer, on the day after Thanksgiving will the sound of father bellowing down the hallway; let’s all climb in the mini-van and go get the Christmas tree, be heard! Or the family tradition of pulling Christmas boxes from storage to decorate the house! Nope the marketing gods have ensured that over time, one mom will take her kids to Black Friday, a couple of moms friends will do the same, then their children will start participating in this yearly purchasing orgy, before long they will tell two friends, then they will tell two friends and so on and so on… Eventually they all will succumb to this newly created family tradition of unbridled consumerism on the day after Thanksgiving! Death to the old Christmas period, birth of a new! Maybe it shouldn’t be called Christmas anymore, I mean it is after all a religious undertone and we all know how well that flies these days. Maybe we should call it 30 days of debt? National pay down the nation’s debt day? Giving day? Giftmas?
Yeah Giftmas! GIFTMAS, that’s the ticket!
Christmas Failure- ahem! I mean Future!
I can see it now, no longer does our country celebrate the birth of Christ, and no longer do we recognize three wise men bearing gifts for the newborn son. Our Nation, an enlightened nation now only recognizes Giftmas. A day that every faith, and culture and stand behind! Giftmas is 90 days of advertising, 14 days of Black Friday style shopping, 10 days of ridiculously low internet specials, 7 days of no credit report checked credit card offerings and two days of amnesty for people who are a little behind in their credit card payments but want to apply for more credit.
The new Giftmas will still be held on the same day as Christmas, Santa will remain as patron saint of gifting, he mastered this thing a couple a hundred years ago when as little old Saint Nic he left shoes outside the windows of those who had none! Talk about a long range growth plan! So let’s not mess with a good thing, all though I am pretty sure that once Giftmas has gone corporate the elves will unionize and then pension costs will drive up prices, but hey that’s in the future and if the present has taught us anything it’s that pension money left in the right hands is always the culprit of greed, dishonesty and theft. Which means it will be dealt with long after it’s too late.
No more Christmas trees in the household, there will instead be a Giftmas stand! That’s right a 6 foot, 8 foot or 12 foot stand with multiple levels and platforms to place your gifts upon or under. The Giftmas stand will be lit from every angle with computerized lighting. It will spin 360 degrees to show off every side, so even the smallest of presents look great! And best of all its fire safe! No more worrying about a tree going up in the middle of the night!
Want to place lights on your house to celebrate the season! Great! Advertisers will do it for you! All vying for the chance to display through electronics their personal holiday message designed just for your neighborhood! Live in a gated neighborhood? Great! An electronic, flashing Mercedes Benz ad will now be running along your roof line Live in the country? Tractor Supply will be dancing in holiday spirit as it advertises this week’s feed specials along your fence! Genius really, the same effect as Christmas lights but with a message!
The morning of Giftmas should remain relatively the same as Christmas used too. Wake up; tear through presents then lay in a gift induced coma after eating breakfast and watching “A Christmas Story” to help you remember the good old days. In a few hours the whole family arrives and more gifting carnage ensues! See it really isn’t all that different! No more silly religion to get in the way, no more thanking God for all that has been provided, no more needing to pray at dinner. Just good old fashioned greedy consumerism to hold dear for generations!
Yes sir, Giftmas will ring true in the hearts and minds of every little boy and girl! Sleigh bells ring, are ya listening, it’s the UPS truck bringing your Amazon order! In the lane snow is glistening, that’s just low blood sugar! A beautiful sight, the shopping’s just right, walking through a Macy’s once again!
Happy Black Friday Shopping!!!
The Future is yours!