Monday, November 7, 2011

Cindy Lou Who, Go Back to Whoville...You're Too Early!

The Grinch was shown on TV a couple of days ago; a friend on Facebook posted that fact. I played Cindy Lou Who wearing my own pink and green bathrobe in the third grade production of that enduring tale, but upon hearing that Whoville happenings had already descended on us put a damper on my fond memory.

On Halloween, I stopped at Target to buy candy for Trick or Treaters. One side of the aisle was haphazard with bags of candy scattered around by past shoppers scrambling for their favorites. The other side was being stocked with everything red and green, from yummy candies to seasonal coffees. The sharp contrast wreaked havoc on my psyche and took an ounce of fun out of Halloween for me, particularly when I had to ask a Target employee to move the large cart heaped with soon to be shelved holiday delights just so I could get through the aisle.

In the supermarket, I heard a Christmas song was playing. It was a catchy one, and I started to bob a bit and mouth the words. Then I realized it was a holiday song and …November 2nd. My initial reaction quickly ceased, replaced by bewilderment.

My local hardware store, OSH, just sent an email with 20% off holiday décor online. I stopped by there yesterday to buy a few things and the Christmas shop was in full bloom at the front of the store, resembling a store within a store with lighted arches over the aisles. How festive!

Bah humbug.

Hey all you marketers; I’d really like to enjoy Thanksgiving. Will you please take a step back and allow me to be THANKFUL before I have to start thinking about a jolly man in a red suit?


I know marketing is important; uh, I do it for a living too. Consumers need to be aware of you and learn what your brand is about and what it can do for them. No issues with that! What I don’t like (and I’m sure many of you agree with me) is the shoving down the throat syndrome; pressuring us all to gulp rather than sip.

October through December represents BIG bucks for the retailers peaking with “I dare you to find a parking space” Black Friday. While I welcome the frivolous “gotta get a gift” spending since it contributes to the lousy U.S. economy, I wonder if we’ve lost touch with what the end of year holidays are all about. It’s not about buying gifts for people!

I’m not against the tradition of gift giving. And now, I have to admit there are alternative ways to participate in my share of holiday giving. No, I don’t regift nor am I a crafter. I DO peruse the sales of course, but I’ve found that shopping at garage sales, resale shops and vintage stores results in unique, one-of-a-kind items that can usually can be bought for a song. I’m not talking about 1984 shoulder padded blazers here, but focusing on items more ornamental in nature that suit the recipient’s décor, a gently used collectible book, or something more practical…would you believe I know someone that collects old waffle irons?

In other words, I frequent those sellers who have little or no marketing! I’m still spreading the wealth, right?

The point is that through the magic of marketing, we continue to drift away and lose sight of what the end of the year is all about. Personally, I will do my best to avoid anything associated with red and green until after Thanksgiving. Bring on the turkey and all the trimmings!

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