The Lack of Shopping This Season
Today I'm not going to bemoan the commercialization of Christmas, or how we have to use the word 'holiday' in substitution of the various holy days we celebrate this time of year.
But, I do a lot of shopping at discount outlets for goodies to sell on Ebay and I have to say I've been shocked to see how few people are shopping at this time of year. And, those who are shopping are carrying far less parcels than they did last year.
And yet, as the government cheerfully tells us, employment is at an all-time low! What they neglect to mention is that people who used to have high-end high-paying jobs are now employed at McDonald's.
Yup! Unemployment's at an all-time low: So are our salaries.
So it's no wonder that when you walk through Macy's you can hear your footsteps echoing throughout the vast cavern of glittering holiday-themed outerwear and assorted tchochkes. However, try to elbow your way through a Dollar Tree to get a simple pack of tissue paper, and you'll find out where everyone is buying stocking stuffers this year.
Even our local outlet stores are offering additional discounts off their already low prices and many people are agreeing to forgo gifts this season. In fact, my parents, Sonosaur and I have an agreement to go out for a very elegant meal at a 5-star restaurant, instead. It makes sense for us, since we all have what we already want and need: What's the use in receiving one more sweater, one more necktie, one more Christmas ornament?
The shoppers look different, too. They have an almost haggard look about them, as if they are worn out from pinching pennies too fiercely. There are few smiling faces, no carefree swinging of bags, and a look of intense concentration as they carefully compare merchandise: "Should I spend the extra $20 for this sweater? Is it really worth the extra money?"
Perhaps as we near Christmas, we'll see a difference. But for now, there is a dearth of happy Holiday shoppers.