2017 Black Friday Shopping

2017 Black Friday Shopping

The day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday”. This day is typically one of the busiest shopping days of the year. For many, this signifies the first day of Christmas shopping. While the term Black Friday was originally used to represent the day on which retailers return to profitability, many retail workers use this term to describe the chaotic crowds who do their Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Likewise, consumers expect killer sales to go along with the madding hordes who invade the stores.

Black Friday

For many, shopping on the day after Thanksgiving is a tradition they wouldn’t miss for the world. These folks look forward to the sales and start their shopping as a way to get into the Christmas spirit. These intrepid shoppers can be counted on to arrive before the malls and shopping centers even open in order to get a great parking spot so they can make multiple trips to their cars to drop off packages before returning to the shopping area to make even more purchases and to almost literally shop until they drop. These are the diehard shoppers who retailers count on each year to boost their quarterly earnings and to help them lock in profitability for the year.

People enjoy Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving for a variety of different reasons. Some enjoy shopping on this day for the promised tremendous sales. Others enjoy shopping on this day because they like to take things one season at a time, figuring now that Thanksgiving is over; it is time to start focusing on Christmas. There are some others who like shopping on Black Friday for the sake of the excellent opportunity to do some people watching. Whether or not they get any actual shopping done, these individuals flock to shopping malls on the day after Thanksgiving because they know there will be tons of other shoppers to observe. Finally, there are those who start their Christmas shopping on Black Friday out of a sense of tradition. These individuals have simply always started their Christmas shopping on Black Friday out of habit. Perhaps their parents started Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Perhaps they simply learned this as the way to start Christmas shopping. Perhaps they will pass the habit on to their own children.

sales

On the other hand, there are other shoppers who absolutely refuse to step foot inside a mall or shopping center on the day after Thanksgiving. That would be me! For us trying to get any shopping done on Black Friday is nearly impossible. We are perfectly willing to sacrifice the opportunity to buy some items as gifts at excellent sale prices in order to avoid the insane throng of shoppers who swarm the stores on this one hectic day. However, it is worthwhile to recognize that just because shoppers like myself avoid shopping centers on the day after Thanksgiving does not mean that we don’t enjoy great sale prices on the Christmas gifts we purchase. We take advantage of sales throughout the year and online to complete our Christmas shopping within our budget.

Whether you are an early bird Christmas shopper, a down to the wire last minute Christmas shopper or just a people watcher, you surely expect large crowds in malls and shopping centers on the day after Thanksgiving. It is up to you to decide whether or not you choose to join the shoppers on this hectic day.

Goodness knows you won’t find me anywhere near a store on Black Friday. God bless you if you do go Black Friday shopping. Everybody has their own tolerance level for such things. Mine is really, really low. I’ll be home with a cup of cocoa and a nice quiet book to read.

How Christmas Parties Can Help You Win The Game Of Thrones

game-of-thrones-doll

How Christmas Parties Can Help You Win The Game Of Thrones

Christmas parties are festive occasions for family, friends and co-workers. Who you invite and who you don’t can be a matter of practicality or it can be a calculated snub. Some people play power politics on the job and at home. Such people might invite the folks they want to impress. Some can be as calculating as a Lannister.

Truth is, big Christmas parties used to be the domain of royalty. Aristocrats put on lavish affairs to demonstrate their status and show up their peers. They were as boisterous and outlandish as anything George R. R. Martin envisioned in the lands of Westeros. In 1213, King John of England ordered 10,000 salt eels from the Sheriff of Canterbury! Another of the king’s orders listed 1,000 hens, 200 head of pork, 100 lbs of almonds, 50 lbs of pepper, 24 hogshead of wine, 2 lbs of saffron and other supplies.

In the time of the Tudors, the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany were a time of wild revelry, jousting, card playing and visiting relatives. All work ceased and even women’s spinning was set aside. The idle spinning wheels were decorated with flowers. The Tudors also beat us to the punch on the Turducken. A Tudor Christmas Pie consisted of a pigeon stuffed in a partridge stuffed in a chicken stuffed in a goose stuffed in a turkey surrounded by a stew of rabbit and game birds baked in a crust that was aptly called a coffin.

christmas-partyChristmas was driven underground during the Puritan rule of England, but it began to grow in popularity again once the monarchy was restored. As Christmas was popularized for the middle class, holiday parties became a chance to jockey for influence. In olden times, it was a formal arrangement to declare the Lord of Misrule to serve as king for a day. Of late, it seems to be the wag who drinks too much and thinks too little of the damage to be done to his or her career. However, with the changing centuries, what was old is new again. The decadent romps of the Middle Ages are echoed in the halls of power today. Whether that is financial or political power, you’re likely to find the Machiavellian ladder climbers schmoozing their patrons and the less forward thinking participants photocopying their posteriors.

So be wary, gentle reader. If you are invited to a Christmas party, it might just be egg nog and cookies. But then again, it might be a doorway to your next step on the ladder to power. Play your cards right and you might just survive the Game of Thrones!

An Interview With Santa – December 2013

An Interview With Santa – December 2013

It took some doing, but I finally managed to catch a moment of Santa’s time before the big day! He and Mrs. Claus were kind enough to share their time answering questions about the business and charitable works of a professional Santa team.

You might wonder what it takes to be a professional Santa.  He recommends attending some of the schools that are available nationwide such as the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan or the various School 4 Santas by Tim Connaghan that are held around the country.  Santa sports a real beard and a real belly and he wears red pretty much year around since he is able to serve outside of the typical Christmas season in any number of roles from comfort and support to master of ceremonies at a store’s grand opening.  House visits, corporate parties, parades, mall photo businesses are all fertile territory for the professional Santa.

It’s not all business though.  As the very embodiment of selfless generosity, Santa favors many civic and charitable organizations.  He is particularly fond of the Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Philadelphia.

Santa also made mention of the National Christmas Center Family Attraction & Museum as a resource that’s local (to me) and has tons of fantastic Christmas stuff.  If you don’t live too far away from Paradise, PA you might want to stop through and see the collection.

Okay, now it’s done.

Okay, now it’s done

Done

I actually had this shirt made a few years ago before I even considered doing a website, but it is where I got the idea for the site logo.  Actually, my friends and I came up with the No-L as a lark at college and I remembered it a few years ago and had this shirt made to confuse people.

Yesterday was Epiphany and now it’s time to pack away the tinsel and get on with the business of getting ready for next Christmas.

Rob!  What heresy are you speaking?  We’ve just gotten done with all of that.  We’re sick of Santa.  We’re fed up with Christmas cookies and egg nog.  It’s time to move on.

Yes, fair enough, but for those who pursue the business of Christmas it’s time to gear up for the next one.  The elves have had a breather.  Santa kicked his feet up and watched the television a bit but now the reindeer are chomping at the bit to get back in running order.  Behind all the glamour  there are people planning which decorations will be in the stores.  What the next big theme is.  Who’s going to be in the parades.  How many people will be traversing downtown and how much shopping they’re likely to do.  How many Christmas trees to plant and when to plant them so they’re nice and tall for Christmastime.

It’s time to delve into the off-season, nitty gritty business of Christmas.  Stay tuned!

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