This is the time of year when Americans gather with family and friends to give thanks. A bounteous feast is the time to express gratitude for our good fortune. We count our blessings, humbled by the fortuity of our circumstances, grateful for whatever it is we have.
Once you get that over with, it’s time to go shopping.
At least, that seems to be the message of retailers, as they intrude further and further into the holidays. This year, a growing number of retailers are actually open on Thanksgiving Day, including Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears, Target, Kohl’s, Staples and Macy’s. (A Facebook page has called for a boycott). Being open on Thanksgiving smacks of desperation, and you should do nothing to encourage the excesses of this antifamily, antifootball behavior.
It is all part of the plan. The manipulators at the National Retail Federation and elsewhere work hard to create a sense of consumer frenzy. Thus, I have dubbed the season between Thanksgiving and Dec. 25, “Shopmas.”
Almost every year, the NRF forecasts a huge increase in holiday retail sales. Each year, the forecast is way off target. Aside from the terrible track record, there are other reasons to ignore the survey. As we noted earlier:
The methodology employed by the NRF survey is defective . . . The surveys bear no correlation relative to actual future retail sales. The conclusions reached (and repeated ad nauseum) are not supported by the data.
There are several reasons for this: First, people have no idea what they spent last year. No clue whatsoever. A surveyor stops someone on the way into a mall or other retail locale, asks them a few questions, the answers to which range between wild guesses and complete fabrications.