Business, Society, Tech

Christmas Shopping

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can buy your Christmas decorations in August, mince pies in October (with Best Before dates of November) and now what used to be January sales begin before Christmas day.

Research and data from online and bricks-and-mortar stores has revealed that the rush for online sales bargains began in the evening of Christmas day and peaked on Boxing Day – well, there’s not much on TV these days.  Luxury items seemed popular apparently.

Analysts say that there is beginning to be more confidence in spending, as this 71% increase in Christmas day spending shows, which is a good sign.

[BBC]

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Found, Funny, Society

Tinsel and Biscuits

English: tinsel

English: tinsel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With a couple of days before the big day I bring you some advice from Book View Cafe on being careful this Christmas.

The list of past holiday season injuries is staggering (as are many of the people involved it seems) and includes injuries from plastic parts of toys on the floor; Christmas pudding lighting – more than just singed eyebrows; eating inedible decorations and trying on new sweaters while smoking, another good reason to quit.

For good measure they also outline the injuries caused by the humble (sneaky) biscuit (or cookie) which includes the man who got stuck in wet concrete trying to save a lost biscuit and the many scolded while attempting the tricky art of dunking.

Have a Happy Christmas and be careful out there.

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Meta, Psychology, Society, Work

The Silly Season

English: Christmas Dinner for the sheep at Edd...

English: Christmas Dinner for the sheep at Edderston, Peebles, near to Kings Muir, Scottish Borders, Great Britain. I wasn’t here early enough to see if the farmer was wearing a Santa outfit on his tractor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll be honest, I dread this time of year.  Before you go all Bah, Humbug on me I don’t mean Christmas – I enjoy the week off, the Christmas dinner, presents, twinkly lights etc – I mean the two weeks before it.

The number one topic of conversation amongst my trade customers at the moment is the phrase we all hear “but I’ve got to have it before Christmas, I have people coming round, IT’S IMPORTANT.”  You’ve just told them that it’s not physically possible to produce the glass tabletop, the bespoke timber windows, the wardrobe for their spare room, the new dining suite in the four days left before closing for the festivities.  You’ve just ruined their lives.

Or so you’d believe from the wailing and gnashing of teeth some of us get.  Each and every one believes they’re the only customer you have, that they’re more important.  “Look, you say it takes five working days to get it from the supplier”,  they reply “can’t you, have a word with someone?”  You want to lean in and whisper, “who, Santa?”  But you can’t, you just say sorry, it’s just not possible.  And they slink away to ask someone else.

And for some reason everyone decides they need this stuff a week before Christmas, when they get the lightbulb over the head, as they start planning where to put Auntie Marge when she stays.  Instead of a steady flow of orders we all get hit with a deluge, some we can meet, some we can’t.

Our trade customers are split between builders and furniture makers and it’s the latter who have to contend with their own trade customers who have promised their own customers that they could get it for Christmas, they’ve said yes to the “can’t you have a word with someone?”  And not wanting to let anyone down we all end up trying to get it done if we can.

So my pre-Christmas message is this, if you’re buying something that might have to be specially made either order it earlier, like you would with the Turkey, or just put it off till next year.  Sometime around August will be fine and don’t worry about remembering, the supermarkets will remind you that Christmas is coming.

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