It used to be that the big shopping day was Black Friday, but then that extended into Thanksgiving Day and pre-Black Friday specials for the week or two preceding the holiday.

Today was commonly known as Cyber Monday, but yesterday’s paper was full of flyers advertising bargains during “Cyber Week”. The bottom line: if you pay full price for something between Halloween and Christmas, you are probably paying too much.

An article in yesterday’s paper also noted that while overall spending is expected to grow, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday sales were both down this year compared to last as the early sales have limited the impact of Black Friday specials.*

It is sad that marketers, retailers and many people in general like to take a good thing and extend it.  While that sounds good in theory, what it does is dilute the impact of the concentrated event.

Christmas magic is lost when department stores put up trees in October instead of unveiling the wonderland on the day after Thanksgiving. Back to school sales start practically before the kids are even out of school. Birthday presents spread throughout the week provide a more muted celebration than having friends and family all at one party with a pile of gifts on your special day.  

The next time you are tempted to extend something, instead ask yourself “What is the shortest timeframe in which we could do this?”  More isn’t always merrier.

— beth triplett

*Source: Black Friday store sales fall; more go online by Christopher S. Rugaber for the Associated Press in the Telegraph Herald, November 29, 2015, p. A2

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