Just About the Last Minute


It’s down to 3 (three!), 2 (two!), 1 (one!), Merry Christmas (!) and we are at the clubhouse turn.

The clubhouse is pretty appropriate here.  This year’s Real Reality of Christmas season started with “Let’s Go Clubbing” (Nov. 17, 2014).  In that post there is the outrageous suggestion that this year everyone would be consumed with cooking, baking, and decorating.  And that seemed to be a pretty fair estimate of outrageousness just as it is most every year, at least around here.  One thing it didn’t seem to be was all consumed with shopping.

Shopping was quite tempered this year from the lack of catalogs (see “The Great Annual Christmas Catalog Shopping Guide,” Dec. 15, 2014) to the lack of fellow shoppers (see “Next to the Last Minute,” Dec. 18, 2014).  We’re wondering might that be due to the lack of stuff.  It seems that every year there is more and more stuff that you only see at the holidays.  Advertisements bear this out.

Think about what you have seen recently on your television.  If it weren’t for the commercial air time between Thanksgiving and Christmas you would think nobody ever drinks liquor, sparkling wine, or pomegranate juice.  If not for those four or five weeks (and the week before Mother’s Day) jewelry stores would close.   Women’s fragrances, perfumes, and colognes appear not to be bottled except for this time of year (and that week in May).  Men’s fragrances are not even bottled this one time each year but they are dusted off and shipped to the stores who agree to build even bigger displays of the always more lucrative woman half of the couple version which are bought by the gift-clueless man half of the couple.  If the Christmas season did not exist, neither would DVD versions of “classic” movies and television shows.  And do we even have to mention Chia Pets?

In some cases it is not just the product that only appears at the end of all years.  Sometimes there are entire stores, even entire categories of stores that only show themselves during the Yule season.  In addition to the already noted jewelers, fitness equipment makers (infomercials excepted) and fitness centers, kitchen gadget specialists, and book sellers rarely make themselves known other than during this holiday period.

With all the extra time bought up by these specialties you would think that the routine advertisers might be a bit miffed.  They are, after all, missing out on a lot of chances to push their products.  Don’t worry about them.  As the number of Christmas movies and specials increase, even though there might be fewer numbers of ads for the commercial staples, the interaction between seller and sucker – err, customer – remains at least the same, if not better.  With some well-timed offerings and a new catchy jingle or two those companies will somehow manage to stay in front of the buying public until at least the Super Bowl.  There will always be enough people buying cars, beer, soup, and cell phones.

And do we even have to mention Chia Pets?

Now that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you.



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