Necessities first, Christmas second

Sleep was good this past weekend. I was off from Christmas retail craziness and didn’t set an alarm Saturday or Sunday. Bliss! However, tomorrow my day starts earlier than the past couple of weeks to allow ample time for credit card transactions and hard-earned cash to fill the tills I operate. Considering how much retailers rely on the Christmas buying period to balance their books for the whole year, I doubt the longer hours can salvage any budgets on the high street.

I mentioned the strange shopping climate a few posts ago, but today I looked at it from a consumer perspective. We headed into town today for coffees and sandwiches and popped into the shopping centre for a bit. Even though Santa (and his ill-fitted beard) was there, the place didn’t seem much busier than any average weekend.

There were several shops having 20% – 50% off sales, but the whole shopping climate is just plain different this year.

I bought several things from The Body Shop (my personal opium den), taking advantage of a 20% off sale. They weren’t presents though- just stuff I needed. I wonder if that’s what a lot of people are doing with the sales- buying things they need, and not so many presents. I remember the ‘economic stimulus’ checks in the US and that my family and several of my friends ended up spending that money on things like groceries, plumbers, and veterinary costs rather than the iPods and DVDs I think the government was expecting. Foolish government.

I did my bit by dropping about £60 in the shops today, but not a penny of it was for anything related to Christmas. I just couldn’t pass up the savings for things I would have bought anyway. Perhaps this recession is the monetary kick in the pants the world needs to make Christmas a tiny bit less about presents and more about people again. Or maybe I’m just being silly with that idea… Of course, working retail, I guess I should hope consumerism wins. And perhaps that’s a perfect example of nobody winning.

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3 thoughts on “Necessities first, Christmas second”

  1. I’m inclined to agree with the needs before Christmas wants feeling like the theme of the season right now. Even in my extended family where families normally exchange gifts we have opted to not do the exchange this year. I don’t know that anyone is in real hurt but it just feels like a good idea. If it turns out that more of the real meaning of Christmas returns then that would be great too!

  2. Welcome, Heavens! My family isn’t exchanging gifts across the Atlantic this year- even though we usually do it through Amazon anyway. The family I have on this side of the ocean is keeping it simple and it’s about the getting together for a Christmas breakfast (second year we’re doing that instead of dinner). Less pressure, only a few presents, and more about each other’s company, definitely.

  3. This year on my Dad’s side we are only drawing names. You know how usually I have to buy for each sibling, niece, nephew and my parents. It’s a huge weight off my wallet.

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