Elvis Presley asked us in 1957 why can’t every day be like Christmas. In some respects, it appears that consumers do try to extend Christmas. Did you know that Dec. 26 – the day after the traditionally gift-giving/receiving holiday of Christmas – is the fifth busiest shopping day of the entire year? That’s weird, right?
According to this October article from Business Insider, Monday, Dec. 26 is projected to be one of the busiest days of the year for retail stores. Black Friday came in at No. 2 on that list. The article doesn’t predict sales for the day after Christmas, but Forbes, drawing from a survey, observed that 66 percent of people plan to shop that day – compared to 47 percent on Cyber Monday and 45 percent on Black Friday – and spend an average of $186.
The Forbes article outlined possible reasons for this activity as customers using gift cards they received for Christmas or taking advantage of sales to buy things for themselves. Either way, the stuff bought is probably going to the purchaser, who may have received a few hundred dollars in gifts less than 24 hours earlier.
Before I go further, allow me to acknowledge that I see nothing wrong with shopping. I’m pretty frugal, so I don’t often buy things for myself, but I have nothing against people who do. What I find a bit odd in this case is people hitting the stores to buy stuff when they just got stuff. (Obviously I’m ruling out people who are getting a head start on next year’s Christmas by getting the gifts cheaper on Dec. 26, people who got gift cards for the sole purpose of getting the stuff they wanted at better prices, and people who are contributing to the traffic in stores, but not necessarily buying anything, just so they can hang out with family.)
I’ll admit that I’ve shopped (and bought) on the day after Christmas, and those few times have left me feeling selfish and unsatisfied. Maybe I’m too hard on myself, but I felt like a spoiled kid who couldn’t be pacified with the gobs of merchandise with which she was showered the day before. I promise that’s not the case, but that’s the image I felt I had claimed. In reality, it was because my mom wanted to take me to some stores because she thought it would be a fun day for us to spend time together before I had to go back to Bowling Green. (Mom, I know you read my blog posts, so please don’t take this as me saying I don’t want to go shopping with you anymore. You know I have fun with you.)
I think what has made me feel uncomfortable in the past is knowing that there are people who truly embody that selfishness I was afraid I projected. I know those people exist because I’ve met them. I’ve literally heard college acquaintances say, “Well, my parents got me a new coat and five new pairs of pants and eight sweaters and an iPad, but I made them take me to Old Navy the day after Christmas to get that coat in two or three more colors. One wasn’t enough.”
These are all just observations on my part, and I don’t know what’s in anyone’s heart, but I know that sometimes it doesn’t seem that we’re exhibiting thankfulness and gratefulness. So I’m going to make that my goal this Christmas and in the upcoming year. I have a lot for which to be appreciative, and then every day really can feel like Christmas.