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Stop.Take Some Time To Think

December 30th, 2010 by Selise

I saw this display when I was at the store today. They’re Valentines Day cards. It’s December. 

What, birthdays and anniversaries aren’t good enough any more? Babies being born, friends moving into a new house – these occasions aren’t enough to sustain us the 2 1/2 months without a retail occasion?

I’m repulsed. And perhaps I feel so strongly because this is not an isolated event.

I was helping out with a little last minute shopping on Christmas Eve at Myer. While we navigated our way through the throngs of shoppers I witnessed employees pulling down the Christmas promotions and replacing them with the red “Stocktake Sale!” signs for the sale starting on Boxing Day. It wasn’t even closing time. Employees were loudly punching out signs to replace and blocking walk ways with ladders. Christmas had not even occurred and they were already preparing for the next sale.

Now, I’ve done my time in retail. I know we all want to get home for Christmas. Make life as easy as possible for the craziness that is the Boxing Day rush. Myer is also one of my preferred stores. I’m there at least once a week and have a loyalty card that certainly gets a work out.

But at that moment on Christmas Eve I stopped and realised how truly terrible it all is. There is no Christmas “spirit”. There are only Christmas “promotions”. A reason for a sale. And before it’s even over they’re preparing for the next one. Buy buy buy – whatever the reason.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to shop as much as the next guy. I find it relaxing. Almost meditative. And I’m not going to boycott anyone caught up in the machine of consumerism. But I am going to take this moment to acknowledge that sometimes, like now, the whole thing feels cheap, dirty and more than a little degrading.

5 Responses

  1. Kat says:

    I agree! The minute one occasion is over another appears on the shelves. My mum works in the bakery at Woolworths and she told me that they start packaging and selling hot cross buns on boxing day. Easter is still 4 months away and already they are selling hot cross buns. It's just ridiculous!

  2. Ruta, Look Ugly in a Photograph says:

    Yeah I agree. I hate how quickly everything changes. You don't even get to appreciate the present moment.
    Ps. I hate Valentine's day.

  3. Zarna says:

    i agree!! everyone needs to slow down and enjoy the present!

  4. Kyla says:

    I totally hear you on this one! I did minimal Christmas shopping at large retailers and it was so freeing! I've had a really strong distaste for mass retail shopping as of late. I guess I just need a break.

  5. bru81calista says:

    That was so well said… I once asked shop management 'Why?' and their simple response was that 'It's what the consumers want.' But I don't want it. I want to enjoy those beautiful occasions without having to schedule my celebratory time around the half price pantaloons. Just to add to the frustration:

    – 'Open all hours' seems to highlight all those awesome parents who take their young children shopping at insane hours complete with blanket and pillow in case they get tired (and can then sleep in a trolley)
    – no sooner are children on school holidays the catalogues for office supplies scream 'BACK TO SCHOOL'
    – January 1 is clearly an appropriate time for Hot Cross Buns to hit the shelves in the supermarkets… Easter this year is in April (and you shouldn't be eating the HCBs until Easter Sunday anyway)

    I just think we've really lost the plot (and it makes me sad)…

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