Holiday Hype

Holiday Hype

It’s December and the holidays are on the horizon. An abundance of activity including decorating, family gatherings, never ending to-do lists, parties and shopping – lots of shopping – define the season.

The season also brings a plethora of advertising pitches trying to ambush your wallet. I’m not the only one who feels holiday commercial hype is excessive.

Back in early November on the eve of Veteran’s Day, November 12th, I was struck by the explosion of commercials advertising “blockbuster Veteran’s Day sale!”

Seriously! How are we possibly honoring our Veterans with a “blow-out sale?”

At the very least, our servicemen and women commit years of their lives in defense of our country so the rest of us don’t have to. They endure lengthy separations from home, physical injuries, emotional trauma, hostile environments and far too many have made the ultimate sacrifice!

As an aside, I also saw that many establishments, local and national, were offering free coffee and pastries, a large percent off their bill, hardware and apparel discounts etc. That I embrace! However, a “never before” sectional sale or mega discounts on dishwashers in the name of Veteran’s Day dilutes the meaning.

Black Friday No More

I confess that before on-line buying exploded thus reducing the pizzazz of in-store shopping, I loved the bustle and bling of black Friday at my favorite mall. Like many, I’m ready for Christmas as Thanksgiving nears, just not while I’m still decorating in advance of Halloween.

Unlike much of Europe, stores in the United States rarely close. Here most are open 364 days a year with Christmas being the one time honored tradition. Big stores and malls use to be closed on Thanksgiving Day too, but even that has eroded. Hobby Lobby is one of the few national chains closed consistently on Sundays and Holidays.

How many days of store accessibility do we really need especially with on line shopping and store delivery options? I seriously doubt this will happen, but if no one left the dinner table for WalMart on Thanksgiving, they’d get the message as would other retailers.

Confessions of a Shopaholic

The truth is I’m a financially responsible shopaholic! I love it all particularly finding the “perfect gift” for someone even if – and sometimes especially if – the pursuit takes me to the internet ends of the earth.

Every year I’m reminded of Christmases past when I was little baking with my mom or when I was a young mom decorating with my little ones. My daughters were about ten when their grandmother started a tradition of making custom ornaments, many cross stitched. The first Christmas after she passed away, I cried as I hung up the multitude of her exquisitely crafted, one of a kind decorations made with love! Now I embrace her memory with each beauty that adorns our tree.

The holidays inspire nostalgia and time-honored traditions from recipes to regalia. Most of us stay focused on the splendor of the holidays as they should be and filter out commercials as annoying white noise.

Some of you reading this may feel differently and/or have holiday traditions to share. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be the one kicking back Christmas night in exhilarated exhaustion. The holiday hurricane will be over but I’ll be savoring the new memories and cherishing the old ones.

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Elaine C.Pereira

About Elaine C.Pereira

Elaine retired in June 2010 as a school Occupational Therapist where she worked with special needs children. She lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband, Joe. Between them, they have five children — Joe has three sons and Elaine has twin daughters-and soon-to-be five grandchildren. Elaine has a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Wayne State University. Elaine is the author of I Will Never Forget and she was inspired to tell her mother’s incredible story in part to help other caregivers coping with memory loss issues in their loved ones. I Will Never Forget

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