Wednesday, November 18, 2015

'Tis the Season to be Shopping

As a writer, certain words hit my radar, especially when they’re media-generated. Here is a quick tour through some words invented for the holiday season, the time of year carved out of the calendar, roughly from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Now, however the Holiday Season starts much earlier, especially if you go in the stores. I swear I saw Christmas ads in August.


Many years ago I worked retail jobs during the Christmas season, and one of the busiest times of the year, naturally, was the day after Thanksgiving. Before everything went all whack-a-doodle with Christmas shopping, we just called it “the day after Thanksgiving.” Then, the advertising cheerleaders decided to give it a special name—Black Friday, implying that all the other shopping days had been red, or low sales days.


To me, an old movie buff, Black Friday is a 1940 movie with Boris Karloff, so when I hear the term Black Friday, I don’t associate it with a major shopping day.


Then there’s the Christmas Rush, an ever-powerful, self-fulfilling fanaticism, also media-created, where everything starting right after Halloween is accelerated faster every year. It means simultaneously the rush of shoppers at the stores, the rush to get things done, buy those gifts before they’re sold out, get that stuff on sale because they’ll never ever have another sale on that item again…


In the last few years, marketing engineers are trying to get Thanksgiving Day cranked up as another sales day, calling it either Gray, Brown, or Black Thursday. Personally, I don’t think we need any more days with colors just for marketing purposes. I would just like to have Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving.


Back in 2005, we got Cyber Monday. That was invented for those of us who didn’t want to get crowd-clobbered on the day after Thanksgiving and wanted to shop online instead. So, once again, they manufactured a special day of the week for online shopping, as though there’s something magical about doing it on Monday.


Then, a few short years after that, they extended it to the whole week, calling it Cyber Week. I figure eventually, they’ll just wrap the calendar around and smash it all together on Christmas Day. Let’s see, perhaps Cyber Year, or Manic Holiday Year, or something along those lines. That way we can stay in a holiday shopping frenzy the entire year.


Holiday Tranquilizers with your eggnog, anyone?


Keep writing, friends.

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