Posted by: deadmousediaries | January 3, 2012

Bulletin: Only 356 Shopping Days ’til Christmas! – a rant from Mitchell Kyd

For the past few days, I’ve just been snuggled in at home, dining on great leftovers, watching my new DVDs and enjoying an occasional amaretto in the holiday after-glow. We are already three days into 2012. What was I thinking??!! I now have only 356 shopping days ’til Christmas. Thank god it’s leap year.

By 5:00 am on Christmas Day, I had received seven-count-em-seven e-mails from department stores and catalog companies announcing price cuts in their after-Christmas sales. Beginning December 26th, I could save up to 70% on merchandise I had purchased just two days earlier. WTF???

What suddenly goes wrong with cookware and hunting boots that slashes their values overnight? How is it possible a simulataneous catastrophic meltdown occurred in the Godiva aisle of every single Macy’s? Did the bovine neonatal adrenal complex (a.k.a. cow placenta) in all the facial creams sold everywhere immediately turn rancid?

Just 39 days ago, Americans shopped til they dropped on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. There is some lore that even identifies that day as the traditional leap into profit season, the day that finally propels retailers into “the black”. But here we are again –and barely one month later–under pressure to take the best advantage of all the Christmas deals.

To make matters worse, the things I really need to buy now to get the best selection will not be on that sale list. Those items of course are beachwear. Hesitate ’til February to buy your summer swimsuit and you’ll be skinny dippin’. Susan Powter said it best: Stop the insanity!

There are those among you who, like me, remember when Christmas displays never appeared in stores until after Thanksgiving. Now we see them before the Halloween stuff comes out. Based on the gradual encroachment of holiday commercialism that is creeping deeper and deeper into the calendar, my calculations are that by 2027 we will have backed up Christmas marketing so far in advance of the actual holiday that it will again begin appearing just after Thanksgiving – but targeted for the next calendar year, of course. The marketing gurus and financial analysts could call it Christmas Year-Out, or Christmas YO, for short.

For the traditionalists among us, that will seem like a nice return to our childhoods but because retailers will be marketing products that haven’t yet been perfected or FDA approved, there are bound to be record waiting lines and an exponential increase in ugly shopper skirmishes. It will also intensify the pressure on all the techies in product labs everywhere.. Thousands of exploited corporate lab rats will be sequestered behind closed doors even earlier, feverishly trying to design new phone adapters and battery chargers that fit nothing else ever designed, once again ensuring that accessory packs will also be outdated in time for Christmas YO.

With this heightened (or is it lengthened?) anticipation, people will be camping out 14 months before Christmas YO to make sure they get the best deals, Occupy WalMart will no doubt become a movement and a headline – if there are actually any point-of-purchase sites remaining by that time.

There’s a lot of bad isms floating around this world but one of the worst is commercialism,” comes that classic line from George Seaton’s film, Miracle on 34th Street. Well said. I’m a great believer in the free enterprise system but we’ve finally gone too far.

I wish I had more time to write and convince you to take action; we could change the world together. But my mail was just delivered and I have to find my gloves and snow boats. Dollar General put their flip-flops on sale in this week’s flier and if I don’t get there by COB, all the best styles will be taken.

Copyright 2012. Mitchell Kyd. All rights reserved.



  1. Boy, have you hit the proverbial nail on the head! I wish we could return to the good ol’ days when, as you point out, the decorations didn’t appear until after Thanksgiving. Sigh! I thought the poor economy this year would have had a more negative effect on the buying madness, but it seemed to aggravate it! Ah, the good ol’ days!

  2. as always, I enjoy your stories! and miss seeing you. Keep making me smile!

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