Remember Christmas? It’s December 25, the day that a majority of the world celebrates as the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s marked with family get togethers, reflections and prayer, feasts and, of paramount importance to many, gift-giving.
Relax. I’m not about to launch into a tirade about the commercialization of Christmas. Nor will I bemoan the fact that the word is being replaced with the generic "holiday season." Instead, I raise this as an illustration of how sectarian and secular holidays have converged to the point that the American calendar has become one long occasion for ongoing sales promotions.
I began to think about this when I heard a radio advertisement for a back-to-school sale around Independence Day…little more than a week after the end of the school year. Shortly after Labor Day, we’ll be assaulted with promotions for Halloween. The day after that, Nov. 1, marks the start of the aforementioned "holiday season." Remember when that was the day after Thanksgiving, the so-called "Black Friday"? No more.
Such brash, aggressive commercialization of traditional dates is absurd. When retailers push the envelope to ridiculously early dates, they risk damaging their reputations and alienating a customer base that is increasingly less loyal.