I don’t know what is like around the world, but retailers where I live are celebrating the coming of Christmas like it is already December 12 instead of November 12.
Yesterday I received a November store schedule from U.S. military-operated department store nearby where I live. The retail store’s schedule incredibly showed that “Santa Claus” would be making appearances every Saturday throughout the month of November (November 6, November 13, November 20, and November 27). I have received November schedules from that retail store for the past several years and this is the first time I have ever seen “Santa Claus” appearances listed in the month of November so that was interesting... However, this is not the only attempt by stores to generate interest in the Christmas shopping season that I’ve seen.
- On November 1 retailers like Best Buy and Kay Jewelers began to broadcast Christmas gift idea commercials in my region on television. One commercial Kay Jewelers has broadcasted this month is practically the same commercial they broadcasted last year. The difference is that this commercial was broadcasted in December last year instead of the early half of November.
- Last weekend I saw a picture of a Southern California shopping center that had Christmas lights and fully decorated Christmas trees already up and functioning.
- Last night I saw an advertisement promoting the release of Disney’s new version of A Christmas Carol on November 16. Normally, one would expect a Christmas movie to be released in December instead of November
- I’ve encountered several news headlines about money-saving specials retailers are going to offer on “Black Friday”, the day that comes after the U.S.’s Thanksgiving holiday (November 26 this year)
- My local television news ran a story about how a giant Christmas Tree has already been erected at the state capitol.
The early promotion of the Christmas holiday this year illustrates what Christmas has become in recent years and how desperate retailers are.
- The early promotion of Christmas this year centers on gift buying; not the religious aspects of the holiday. The message retailers are communicating in their early advertisements is to buy someone you know a gift they will enjoy without mentioning the word “Christmas”. Perhaps retailers are afraid of using the word “Christmas” because the word Christ makes up a part of it. However, retailers have no problem using the word “holidays”. Any Christian connotations that Christmas once had (there weren’t a lot given Christmas's true origins) are practically gone these days…
- The early promotion of Christmas suggests that retailers are desperate to generate early interest in the Christmas holiday in hopes they can boost revenue and profit from shoppers who get wrapped up in the “holiday spirit”. One reason why retailers are desperate to generate early interest this year is that there are less shopping days than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Another reason is that the economy so bad that retailers are not confident that consumers will spend a lot of money this year if they promote the holiday shopping season as they traditionally have. The need to generate profit and revenue trumps tradition...
In the coming years you should expect to see the celebration of the Christmas holiday season to begin earlier than it already has as economic conditions deteriorate worldwide and expect Christmas to completely lose any Christian connotations that remain as retailers focus on gift-giving. I know my local Wal-Mart will be fully prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday season earlier than early November in the future since they traditionally put out their Christmas decorations and have an entire shopping area fully decorated before the month of September begins each year...