Author: Audrey Lamsam
I love autumn. Once the leaves turn a brilliant fire red and fall gracefully from the trees, I’m reminded of the exciting upcoming holidays that are about to happen. First comes Halloween, the night where ghouls and goblins come out to play. Then comes Thanksgiving, where we all gain a million pounds eating turkey and other fatty (but delicious) comfort foods. And then finally comes Christmas, where it’s all about presents and jolly spirit.
However for some reason, stores and shopping malls around the country usually blend these three holidays together in a big mesh of exploding Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations starting as early as the beginning of October. Despite the overpowering flood of holiday decor scattered around malls, it really does get people ready for the holiday season.
I walked through the Arcadia Westfield Shopping Mall earlier this week and was surprised to see that two days after Halloween, Christmas lights and decorations were already put out to get consumers into the holiday spirit. Gigantic Christmas ornaments were hung throughout the mall, along with large draperies picturing winter wonderlands scattered around as well. Even though Halloween was barely over, stores were already getting ready for the Christmas shopping rush. Some pessimists are against this consumerist tactic. They say that the hasty jump into Christmas is all about manipulating customers into thinking that since Christmas is right around the corner, they should stock up on presents as much as they can. Personally, however, I love it – I completely buy into the consumerism that surrounds the Christmas holiday.
Stores have reason to rush into promoting their sales by putting out Christmas decorations as soon as possible. For the past few years, the revenue gained by businesses from consumers during the Christmas holiday has been significantly lower than in the early 2000s. According to the New York Times Economix blog, “35 percent of Americans say they will spend less on Christmas gifts this year than they did in 2007, and only 9 percent plan to spend more.”
The lack of buying initiative from consumers during the holiday season without a doubt prompts stores to try their best to get people in the holiday spirit so that they spend more. I remember last year during the holiday shopping rush, malls that I went to were almost completely empty even one week before Christmas.
With a dwindling economy comes a lack of Christmas shopping spirit; thus by having Christmas decorations put out even before Thanksgiving, it reminds consumers to not forget about the beautiful winter holiday season.
Even though it’s strange to see Christmas decor before Thanksgiving, I definitely enjoy it. Although the early decorations do not necessarily sway me to buy more presents for friends and family, it still makes me happy to know that the Christmas spirit is in the air amidst the busy holiday rush that we all get caught up in.
Audrey Lamsam is a sophomore AHVA major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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