HOLIDAY SHOPPING FRENZY

 
The holiday shopping frenzy has taken on a new start. Each year the beginning becomes earlier in the season. In fact, this year one could not distinguish the Halloween decorations from the Thanksgiving decor. In addition to that, the spirit of Christmas had started to sneak in too. I really began to wonder,’ what is going on’?

holiday shopping frenzy
On a recent Saturday afternoon, in mid November there is not a single parking shop available in the Rockville Centre, Long Island HomeGoods parking lot.
On Your Mark, Get Set, Shop

The outcry of ‘On Your Mark, Get Set, Shop’ signaled the beginning of the earliest holiday shopping frenzy on record. Usually ‘Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is the start. That day has also crept up in the seasonal calendar. To the dismay of many employees, stores open right after Thanksgiving dinner or before daylight on Black Friday. I attributed this shift to nothing but mere consumerism. But this year is different.

There are several reasons for this change. Consumerism may be part of it. But something else plays a major part in this holiday shopping frenzy, FEAR. What exactly is the cause? Several come to mind. We are in the midst of a pandemic. Even though everyone hoped it would have subsided by now, it is only getting worse. So how does this affect holiday shopping? People are afraid that stores will run out of items. In addition, there is a fear that stores will have to close down again. Lastly, there is mistrust that things ordered online will not arrive in time.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Stop

This holiday season is going to look very different. Most likely, social distancing and sequestering are going to intensify. For safety’s sake, gatherings will be limited to immediate family. Maybe we need to rethink what this time of year is meant to be about. Thanks for Thanksgiving. Gratitude for Hannukah, the festival of lights, Christmas blessings, Kwanza cheer.

holiday-shopping frenzy
A sampling of the 2020 holiday postage stamps from the USPS

Instead of worrying about getting the last parking spot in your favorite store or mall, this may be the year to stop and think. Let’s think about the true meaning of these holidays. They all fall around a pivotal point in the year. Even before these fairly modern holidays, Mother Nature determined their meaning. The shortest day of the year, the longest night of the year was followed by the beginning of renewal, hope, and light. May the coming year bring all of those to all of us. Amen.

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