So, got any New Year’s resolutions?
Oh. Wait. That’s a month from now. Who knew? I mean, really. Where the heck did November go? In fact, where did September and October go? Anyone else feel as if those months were CSX trains that blew right by the station, heading straight for 2020?
But here we are. Black Friday came and went. In fact, it came about as early as September. October, at least. You saw those online and in-paper Black Friday deals a few weeks back, right? And Cyber Monday hits tomorrow. Soon enough that will probably turn into Cyber Week. Or Cyber Month.
There’s no denying the Christmas season is changing, evolving. It’s kind of like sports, really. NASCAR is close to year-round now. The World Series is played much later than it used to be and overlaps football. Football and basketball overlap, and the list of Bowl games will one day take us into February or March. Speaking of March, March Madness rolls into April now.
So yes, Christmas is shaping up in much the same way. We all saw it coming years ago, before the interworld was invented by Al Gore, as outdoor furniture on display at Lowe’s went on sale before the end of August to make way for faux Christmas trees, faux wreaths, lights and, eventually, hundreds of inflatables. We saw it when Hobby Lobby put its Christmas decor out in, I think, July.
Now, thanks to Jeff Bezos, those few remaining stores with real doors and floors in a shopping center near you, are having to get a jump on Black Friday. Of course, they’re still behind. Bezos got a jump on it a couple of years ago. And with his Amazon Prime deals running year-round, Christmas is nearly a year-round shopping event.
Those remaining stores hope to get you through their doors before you search Amazon while sitting at home in your PJs, laptop, smartphone or tablet in hand, listening to your favorite Christmas music. The rest of you who long ago got reeled in by Amazon were likely sitting at home in your PJs, laptop, smartphone or tablet in hand, listening to Sounds of Summer on Sirius XM while Christmas shopping.
What Bezos and Amazon cannot offer — yet, at least — is that local flavor you can only find in the stores along Main Street USA. And sure, some people still want to hit the stores that dot nearly every city so they can look, hold and choose gifts. Or people watch. Sometimes, if you aren’t sure what to get for someone, it takes inspiration that only walking through the mall or in and out of stores in the strip center can provide.
Nowadays we can telecommute to work and shop without leaving home. We can stream music and movies. Think about it. That alone might solve the world’s problems with respect to auto emissions and global warming. Stay-at-home moms and dads can morph into stay-at-home families. Even our meals can get delivered to our doorstep. It’s not just for pizza night, you know.
And think of the money we could save if we moved all learning to virtual classrooms. No more tax dollars needed to build fancy school facilities that, by the way, don’t contribute to the city or county tax base.
Ah yes, Christmas is a-comin’. And so is a brave new world.