Buying less this year!
Most who know me, realize that December is not my favorite month. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 12, with 1 being 'best' (April) and 12 being 'why bother', December would probably rank a 12 most years. One of thing things I particularly dislike about December are the endless news stories about the economy and Christmas and black friday and how the holiday shopping season is going to hell in a hand basket. Blahblahblah. It seems like every story is about how this retailers has done this particular markdown or is open these hours and that means this terrible thing. Or someone sneezed just a little funny and it caused them to drop something they were going to buy and now they won't buy it so the entire retail holiday shopping season has blown to hell. Each data point feels over analyzed and blown out of proportion.
Take for example the NPR story I heard this morning. The story was about what current gas prices (I guess they have gone up, I didn't notice) may mean for holiday shoppers. So they talked to some industry expert who was all freaked out. Then they interviewed one (YES, ONLY ONE) holiday shopper. She had just walked out of Costco and had a cart LOADED with toys, food etc. She went on for a while about how gas was $3.20 and how high that way. Then the interviewer asked her if that was going to effect her holiday shopping. She said, no, that she had saved money and that she was buying everything she had planned to buy for her kids. Then she said MAYBE she and her husband would buy less for each other. Maybe, mind you. And she did not sound very convinced. However, the interviewer was. He then concluded that the high gas prices were indeed effecting holiday shoppers. Implying by extension, heaven help the retailers.
Now, I'm not sure a woman who just walked about of Costco with an entire cart full o' crap saying she might buy less for her husband is really a sign that gas prices are hurting the economy. And maybe, just maybe, she (we) should be buying less crap! And maybe, just maybe, high gas prices are okay and they will make us drive less. Which just may be a good thing?
Or maybe I'm completely ignorant and unamerican!