Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Here Comes "Christmas Creep"

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…and we haven’t even had Halloween yet. Have you noticed? Retailers are already stocking their shelves with Christmas items while it is still October.

Wal-Mart, Target and Penney’s are hoping to get consumers into a shopping frame of mind two months early.

It’s a phenomenon called “Christmas creep,” according to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. William Cody of the Wharton School said, “The creep has been going on. Every year retailers hope that coming out early is going to reduce the amount of promotions. They’d rather people buy at full price.” The strategy is to capture more sales by letting people shop early.

For those who have forgotten, “Christ”mas is about the coming of Christ into our world. Every year the reality of Christmas and its rightful celebration is further buried and overshadowed, and for many even lost because of the assault of consumerism.

The retail industry has become so dependent on Christmas sales that for many it makes up 40% of their annual profits. This assault will only continue in the years to come.

For those that want to have a meaningful experience of God in the month of December let me encourage you now to make strategic decisions with your calendar, your checkbook and your heart. Make and live a plan to not get crazy during the holidays but to enjoy God’s presence.


Anonymous said...

When I worked in retail sales nearly 15 years ago now is when I first noticed Christmas Creep. I also noticed that people were more stressed out, grouchy and inconsiderate of others in their quest for "getting the right gift" for whoever they felt obligated to buy for. It got to a point that I hated the Christmas season.

Since leaving that field of employment, I have started buying special gifts for loved ones through out the year. That way my checkbook and credit cards are not over burdened at one time of the year. I also avoid shopping during that season as much as possible so as not to make more stress for myself or others.

I enjoy writing personal Christmas cards some years, and will start those right after Thanksgiving, so that that doesn't become a huge burden. But the years I don't feel like it, I don't "guilt" myself over not doing it.

Sometimes you have to learn to let go of the non-essentials to make room for the essentials.

I find that this strategy helps make me more calm during the Christmas Creep than many around me. And I don't hate Christams anymore.

Scott Brewer said...


Thanks for the practical tips on addressing the Christmas season.

It is no small thing to no longer "hate" Christmas. Congratulations.