It’s everywhere. It’s in the air. It’s…the great rush to make Christmas happen earlier and earlier.
I personally have seen the rush as I have gone from store to store. As I went into one in the early part of October, they apologized for the mess because they were putting out the Christmas merchandise. I have actually even heard Christmas music in a local Wal-Mart and to top that off some radio stations are now going to an all Christmas music format a lot earlier than has been done previously. It’s even creeped in online where you can go to Amazon.com and get any number of mp3 downloads that are Christmas music from some of your favorite artists and get them on the cheap.
I don’t know how many times I have seen it creep up earlier every year, but I’m imagining that soon we will start seeing the Christmas materials in stores sometime right after Labor Day.
The big question for all of this is, Why?
The answer is a little harder to come by, but I’ll make a crack at it and maybe we’ll figure it out together. First, I think that we see these things because retailers are simply trying to make their Christmas season look better than it actually will turn out to be. For many, Christmas is the time that they look to to take their year into the black. With the economy being in the worst shape it has been in for some time, we can expect this Christmas season to be a bad one in stores and we might even see some more retailers that have been having trouble, finally give up the ghost early next year because of it. Maybe the view is that we need to extend the idea of Christmas to people to wear them down so they will end up buying more.
The other part of it is the great desire of people to have something to hope for. The economy has had a great impact upon every family in America with roughly 1 in 5 being affected in some way, whether it be through unemployment or being underemployed. It’s a time that people can stop and enjoy the feelings and hopefulness that the Holiday season can bring. Of course, that’s all before getting back into the swing of looking for a job, trying to sell a home, losing a home, etc. that is all going on all over America.
The thing that I wonder and have no clear answer for is will there be a backlash for doing this so early? I’m not exactly a scrooge, but even I avoid Christmas stuff until it’s time for it.
Maybe though, it’s a reminder that we don’t need someone in Washington bringing us hope. The hope that we need comes from somewhere else, and we might be surprised that it has nothing to do with buying, selling or politics.