The commercial holiday season of course. Not long ago the season started after the US Thanksgiving holiday through to Christmas, Dec 25th. Now, clever big box outlets are stretching the season to milk the holidays for everything they are worth, and more.
In New York last week, during the marching by those voicing their displeasure that those with opposing views elected a president they don’t support, it was hard not to recognize the familiar streetside bell ringing by the Salvation Army volunteers soliciting annual holiday donations. This army makes its apearance every Christmas holiday season. But it was only Nov 13.
That day and the next day I searched for a few supplies to cart back to China which took me into a few large retail chains. Each one had loud, obnoxious Christmas songs pumping through their music systems. In one store I overheard a sales employee, practicing most excellent customer service, ask a nearby customer, “can I help you with anything?” to which the response was, “yes, can you please have the music changed?” The blaring commercial music, with melodies of sleigh-bells ringing and dreaming of a white Christmas ,was truly annoying, even though it provided good internal practice for being content in the moment.
As I write this post I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Jiangsu Province, drinking coffee from a festively decorated red reindeer cup listening to Christmas music. Not many people celebrate Christmas here, but it is, after all, Starbucks.
- Tis the season when most retailers are counting on us being jolly, and buying stuff, lots of stuff.
- Tis the season when sales volumes must satisfy investor hunger for positive year-end results.
- Tis the season, whether we like it or not.