Thursday, December 31, 2009

Valentine's Day Already?

You know, I'm fundamentally a capitalist at heart. I like the system, and appreciate its simplicity as well as its complexities. I firmly believe that I can sell X for Y and that will make both buyer and seller happy. It's just a primal aspect of my core personality.

It's how I was raised.

I grew up working retail, and I worked retail through most of my college years, and as a Consultant, the entire concept of capitalism is at the very heart of my livelihood.

Yet, at times I have to wonder at the insanity which the system produces. We all know that it is at or near Halloween when the first of the Christmas elements start appearing in stores. We also know that it is Walmart's goal for their to be a SELLABLE Holiday in every month.

Yet, it has typically been Christmas alone which has received such huge lead times between the actual event and when the merchandise related to it has been displayed.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

You see, the Friday BEFORE Christmas me and the Beloved Wife when to Target to pick up a few last minute doohickies. And our Target, like all others, has that seasonl/1$ section right there at the front by the buggies.

So, we stop and start looking about, seeing if we can find any cheap things for stuffing of the stockings, when I realize that I'm looking at a large assortment of PINK.

Lo and behold, it was Valentine's Day junk. Lots and lots of it.

I stared at that mass of pink and read heart shaped tidbits of money waste and felt something inside my head just bend. I literally had a hard time processing it.

Of course, my Beloved Wife took pictures, as she had a hard time believing it as well.

Now, I know that most of our holidays in the United States are secular ones, and even those which retain their religious overtones have so many insane secular concepts slathered over them that it's somewhat of a stretch to say that they are still holy days.

Yet, I find it odd that we, as a society, have taken those days that we have set aside to celebrate something (whether that be dead presidents, or document signings or even a misguided concept of romance) and built our entire tradition base upon cheap trinkets that we buy months in advance of the actual holiday.

So, here is my proposal, I don't want to buy anything related to a holiday, no more than 7 days prior to that holiday. There will be no candy or costumes for Halloween bought at the end of September. There will be no pilgrim cutouts bought in October. There will be nothing pink purchased at anytime before 2/7 and after 2/15. The steaks for Memorial Day will not be bought until the... well, those need a few days to sit and age.

But that's the idea.

Maybe this will hurt those companies that prey on the impulse buy and start pushing crap out to consumers months in advance of a holiday. After all, if merchandise isn't moving, that's square footage that they could have used to sell something.

And maybe, just maybe, more folks will remember that holidays are days of remembrance and celebration. Not just times to spend large sums on crap that is not used 95% of the year.

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