OH JOY, CHRISTMAS IN THE SUMMER!

The summer doldrums are upon us, bringing searing heat and energy-sapping humidity. So, naturally, people all across our sweltering nation are thinking of only one thing: Christmas.
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
OH JOY, CHRISTMAS IN THE SUMMER!
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Counter conformity.

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The summer doldrums are upon us, bringing searing heat and energy-sapping humidity. So, naturally, people all across our sweltering nation are thinking of only one thing: Christmas.

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Say what? Yes, Santa in summer! Several big retail chains, desperate to lure economically-depressed shoppers into their struggling outlets, have hit upon the brilliant idea last month of convincing customers that they should rush to the mall in the heat of summer to get a jump on their Christmas shopping. I’m assuming that someone left these marketing geniuses out in the sun too long, shriveling their brains down to the size of a dried fig.

Nonetheless, Target, Toys R Us, and Sears are among the slap happy giants that have recently been stringing up lights, hanging sparkly ornaments, and blaring out Christmasy tunes over their store speakers in an all out effort to push the summer Christmas-in-July theme. “We really wanted to create that sense of excitement, that sense of urgency,” gushed Target’s spokeswoman, sounding slightly panicky, not to mention nuttier than a fruitcake.

For America’s middle-class families these days, income is down, firings are common, jobs are scarce, and expenses keep rising (including for back-to-school purchases they’ll soon have to make). So, how much HO-HO-HO and Buy-Buy-Buy do these retailers think people have in them? Indeed, J.C. Penney is among the big merchants taking a pass on the forced merriment of this off-season. “Customers don’t like it when you push Christmas too early,” a top Penney’s executive told the Associated Press.

You don’t have to be a Scrooge to recognize reality. “It’s too hot to think about Christmas,” one shopper told an AP reporter. Another was more pointed: “I just got laid off,” she said.

"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do." --Jim Hightower


Retail giants should listen to common sense and give consumers some breathing room. Christmas has already been made way too commercial enough in its own season – why rush it?

“Stores hope summer Christmas sales will woo wary shoppers,” Austin American Statesman, July 20, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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