Tis the season of sales......or so it would seem judging by the traffic in my email in box recently. Advertising emails have apparently replaced old fashioned paper junk mail but the intent is the same. It seems as though not a minute or two can go by without a new offer for a must-have, last minute item appearing before me on my computer screen. From sweaters and mass produced jewelry to electronics and snow blowers, it is all on sale "for today only". Really? I've lost track of the number of final offers that reappear under the headlines of "sale extended" the next day. And of course everyone is offering free shipping with a guaranteed delivery by Christmas Day. Maybe I am too cynical but it seems as though mass consumerism has taken over the holidays with no celebration being complete without a towering pile of wrapped, but unneeded items sitting under the tree. Do we really need more stuff?
And now it is Christmas Eve and I once again woke to find my inbox filled with more promotions for even more last minute deals. I suppose with Christmas itself being mere hours away the end is in sight (but I'm also receiving post Christmas sale notices now). I know I am a planner but how is it that with Christmas sales starting in November and stores opening on Thanksgiving Day, that people are still shopping at the last minute. Are their gift giving lists that big, do they simply procrastinate, or are they holding out hope for an even bigger and better last minute deal? Who are these shoppers anyway and more importantly, who are they buying these special gifts for?
Perhaps it is physical distance from the American holiday shopping chaos that is allowing me to be so cynical. I haven't stepped foot in an American shopping mall in years and have only ventured into the Albanian ones a handful of times under complete duress. Relying on a restrictive mail system that can take any where from two to six weeks to deliver packages from the US to Albania means that any online shopping I planned on doing had to be completed long before the Thanksgiving / Black Friday shopping frenzy. So attention Target, Gap, Williams Sonoma, Amazon, and everyone else who has been spamming my inbox with deals, these offers are totally lost on me. While I have yet to wrap the few gifts we exchange, they were purchased and received months ago. That means that instead of taking part in the feeding frenzy we've been decorating our house, baking holiday goodies, and spending time together as a family. And that is what this season should be about.
Merry Christmas everyone!