We Love Christmas in July
edited: Saturday, February 18, 2006
By Bob Holt
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2006
Become a Fan
The holidays are over- or are they? Time to pick up a new La-Z-Boy for Presidents Day!
The turning of the calendar to another new year can only mean one thing: the holidays are finally over. And you only have about six months remaining to finish paying off Billy's new X-Box 360 that you waited two days outside in line in twenty degree weather to buy and he broke ten minutes after he opened it.
The bad news is that by the time July arrives, and you make your final payments on those long forgotten Christmas presents, guess what happens? Stores greet you with the first sighting of the upcoming season's Christmas ornaments. Start saving those pennies now.
You'll need to save because when you're visiting Atlantic City sometime during the summer, you just might see old Santa Claus roller blading down the middle of the boardwalk. He's busy all year now. Many malls have Christmas stores open twelve months of the year.
But the Christmas holiday is only part of the problem. One holiday just leads into another, usually with at least a two month lead time. Valentines Day starts off the vicious merchandising circle on the crack of January 2. Of course, January 2 is much to early for the typical guy, who is more likely to remember his valentine after the 115th reminder he receives around 9:00 PM on February 13.
Before that, he is celebrating his favorite unacknowledged holiday which receives nationwide parties anyway, Super Bowl Sunday. The hype for this holiday begins in earnest the previous July, when a guy's favorite team went to training camp. Many weeks and many beers later, with his favorite team having been eliminated from playoff contention by late October, he looks forward to the pre game ceremonies for some other team he hates Friday night. But he returns to work on Tuesday, as long as there are no wings left.
Then in February, everyone knows that Presidents Day celebrates the important work of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln by slashing fifty percent off the sticker price of the entire inventory at your nearby Buick dealer.
And February 15 signals the time for stores to break out their Easter decorations. You can count on that even during years when that damn Cadbury bunny doesn't come hopping down the carbohydrate trail until late April.
The extra days for Easter promotion allows people more time to rent all of the holiday-related movies which are available like The Greatest Story Ever Told, which Jesus filmed in his younger years, or to watch the latest TV mini-series about Jesus. Granted, even the return of Jesus in a recurring role in that short lived television show Daniel couldn't save network programming today.
By May it's time for Mother's Day, where you try to make Mom forgive you for the mess you've made of your life by bribing her with enough sweets to make her swell up like Mrs. Butterworth's. And you'll have no better luck on Father's Day. You'll have to buy Dad something credible like clothes which symbolizes how you really feel about him, as opposed to something he really wants, like a six pack or a speedboat.
Following those is graduation, an occasion which is not a holiday, yet sees an extended shopping season. I saw my first graduation cards in January this year. What any new graduate needs as a gift, aside from beer money, is soap and water to wash the writing from his car windows after he sobers up and sees it the day after graduation.
Other occasions than graduation which need to be promoted to people are birthdays and anniversaries. And by people, of course, I mean guys. Community stores need to do advertising for their regular customers within a ten mile radius. You should hear it all over: "Bill, you're twentieth anniversary is coming up Tuesday, and she doesn't want a George Foreman grill again this year."
A popular new idea in holiday shopping is often used when you're trying to come up with a gift to buy your stupid brother-in-law who you haven't spoken to in two years. It's the "one for them, one for you" buying plan, which receives its highest popularity at Christmas. You know he's caused you so much stress that you deserve something for yourself too. Merchants call this the stress relief/recycle your credit card method.
Then Back-to-School sales usually begin about the day after Memorial Day. You have much work to do on your summer vacation this year. Your recent high school graduate might want to sober up, wash his car, and head down to the nearest blue light special to pick up some bargains for his freshman year at college.
That summer season will begin with Independence Day. This holiday does not do major business for a lot of merchants, except Ball Park franks and ant and roach killers. People love to celebrate Independence Day by becoming stranded in extended lines of traffic in ninety degree weather while waiting to see fireworks. By this point of the day, Dad is usually so relaxed that he screams at the car in front of him if that car allows six inches to open up between him and the car in front of him. Dad just wants to create the illusion of progress in moving forward in traffic.
If you visit the beach during the summer, in August you might as well get a head start on collecting the Halloween candy, because that will now be available. I realize that the first thing on a person's mind when they're laying on the beach is that special time to set the clocks backward and lose an hour of daylight. But it's okay. By now beach weather is just about done, so you'll be needing that extra bulk around the middle for the cold winter months ahead.
After Halloween, Thanksgiving build-up is mostly ignored, because by November 1 your friends are bothering you about why you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet. Thanksgiving celebrations usually take place over a few days, or as long as it takes to get your relatives to leave. Your Thanksgiving efforts are for the benefit of two merchants: Shop-Rite and your nearby Weight Watchers.
Then of course, we wind up the year with Christmas. As we've stated, anywhere between this time period and Thanksgiving are strongly recommended as opening day for your Christmas shopping season. During this time you are expected to have finished paying off last year's holiday bills or have completed your community service.
And remember, credit cards are easy to acquire and even easier to melt. With common sense and a reasonable budget, you should be able to survive the cycle of holidays you have to face during the year. But be careful. Billy wants another X-Box 360 for Christmas and Valentines Day is right around the corner.
Web Site: Lifestyles of the Unskilled and Mediocre
Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!
|Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher
|A most refreshing article! And, so filled with truth,
Birgit and Roger
|Reviewed by Kate Clifford
|You forgot Saint Patricks Day!!!! Who do you think got this magical cycle started hmmmmmm ;-) and they say you don't have to worry about little people ha! Hey do you think my coloured money would look nice if I dyed it green.......opps somebody did that!|
|Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
|Great advise on that credit card thingy!!
It's a strange-strange-world-we-live-in-master Bob!!
Love Tinka :)))
|Reviewed by Sandy Knauer
|Wonderfully done. What a strange society we live in, huh?|
|Reviewed by Ed Matlack
|Forget buying anything on credit, just send the money to the card company & enjoy the sweet bliss of crying kids with nothing under the tree at christmas...tell em' to get a job and make their own money...and when the smoke clears, you will be dead and they will have your inheritance and all will be right with the world...Ed|