Halloween has ended and it is now November and that means only one thing, it’s tghat fun time of the year for us all. It is holiday shopping time!
The big question is………….Are you ready for it? Now that everything is a lot different, in many ways, since last year at this time, holiday gift shopping may become quite the chore. Retailers are expecting this to be, despite inflation, a record year after the pandemic years slowed everything down. So here we go, driving store to store, mall to mall, fighting for parking spaces, trudging what seems like miles, through crowded aisles and walkways. Trying to juggle packages of all sizes from one place to another before you even get to your car. People will be in a grand rush, scurrying around like mad men trying to get to a sale before someone else. People bumping into one another without an “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me.”, but rather a dirty look. The ear splitting sounds of screaming kids at every turn, people paying more attention to their phones rather than where they are going. Then finding the store you want, but will you find any help in the store? Ah yes, the joys of holiday shopping! And I am talking about the normal shopping days, not even a mention of the mayhem and mass hysteria created by “Black Friday”. That ridiculousness is a whole other subject!
Yet, with all the craziness that surrounds going out to shop during the holiday season, more and more are doing it online. Two years ago Carole and I bought only one thing online for Christmas. Last year we bought almost half our gifts online and this year we will probably buy three quarters of our gifts online. Last year online sales for the holiday season was $201 billion. This year they are predicting that figure to be $210 billion or even more. With the many deals available, the shipping and stocking channels pretty much cleared up, getting merchandise either online or in stores is shaping up to be much better this Christmas season with many big discounts simply because the stores are overloaded with merchandise. In addition, a lot of companies are promoting early “Black Friday” deals that people will take advantage of online, rather than camp out overnight to get that 75” TV for a great price!
As if all that isn’t enough to get you prepared for the holidays, Sirius radio has already begun playing holiday music on several channels. I switched to my Big Band channel today and guess what? Until January 1, 2023 it is now the Holiday Music channel. Add in the fact that on November 6 we turn the clocks back an hour which means getting darker earlier (which I hate). I guess that makes it all official and we are definitely into the holiday season.
All I can wish for all of you is safe travels, safe shopping and above all take the extra precautions to stay safe when you are out and about. It is a crazy, mixed up world we live today. I think that is also another reason people are more and more into shopping online for the holidays because of the safety factor with all the smash and grabs, lootings, shootings and mayhem that can, and does, occur at any place at any time
Please be aware of your surroundings, be extra cautious, be safe and enjoy all that the holiday season is about. With that I will close, but let me be the very first to wish you all a “Very Merry Christmas!”
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves Magazine and AAN