Nowadays, one doesn’t need to stare at a calendar to figure out a holiday is coming up — retailers do that for us.
Earlier and earlier every year, consumers see the holiday season start sooner, and there has been a growing gap between the start of the season and the actual holiday.
Now, not only is Halloween
promoted in the middle of September, but winter holiday commercials are also coming out around that time as well. This can be seen in many stores such as Kmart, which many publications have discussed after its Christmas ad aired in September — the first holiday ad of the year.
It is disheartening to see that retailers don’t give Thanksgiving the same space that it had in
previous years. It often seems that Thanksgiving is only mentioned for Black Friday promotions. This year, we seem to go from Halloween to Christmas in the blink of an eye.
Christmas is well known as a holiday to commercialize and
promote many businesses. This year, however, businesses have simply gone too far in reminding consumers that the winter holidays are coming. This increasingly early reminder of the winter holidays is popularly known as “Christmas Creep.”
According to a CBS News article, Wal-Mart is the latest to jump on the bandwagon, offering its annual deals a month earlier than last year. These same deals are usually reserved for Black Friday, the day that has traditionally been held as the start of the end-of-year holiday shopping season.
Wal-Mart’s reasoning involves everything from the bad economy and the added fact that the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas is six days shorter than it was in 2012 because November started on a Friday.
Winter holiday promotions started before Halloween, and this is just unfair to consumers and gives an overbearing presence and pressure to spend money.
According to the New York Times, the financial pressures put on by the government shutdown don’t help. In a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers, the government shutdown forced 40 percent of its participants to curtail their budgets this holiday season. Many retailers will actually be open on Thanksgiving and will host a Midnight Madness sale on the nights from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
It is understandable why
retailers do this. Retailers know customers will be more likely to splurge for their family and friends. They know the earlier and longer they promote these deals, the more consumers will want to keep spending.
End-of-year holiday promotions should start after Halloween and should not skip over Thanksgiving. There should be a week for the average consumer to relax before they are engulfed with commercials and ads again. All of the ads should emphasize celebrating the holiday and not place value over the things that are paid for.
Retailers have to keep earning, but it would be nice if some of the holidays were actually
In the current direction the U.S. is going, in a couple of years,
children are only going to remember the commercialization of
holidays and may not remember what the holidays are actually for.
Akshita Sathe is a sophomore majoring in psychology and elementary education.