The Christmas Economy

Did you enjoy the Holiday Weekend? Getting up in the early hours of the day? Fighting the traffic? Whew, that Black Friday sure was tough. What, thought I was talking about Thanksgiving?

For many shoppers out there, Black Friday was far more important than a day of giving thanks. The Holiday shopping season is upon us, and oh, what deals!

Our modern economy is based around the holiday shopping season. There is a reason they call it “Black Friday.” Many retailers operate at a loss, “in the red,” throughout the year only to make their profits, get “in the black,” from the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There are those from both sides of the political isle and from various religions–or no religion at all–who find the commercialization of Christmas to be disgraceful, disrespectful, hypocritical or some combination of all three. Maybe their “Bah, Humbugs!” have a point.

However, I will have to respectfully disagree. I find it very encouraging that our entire economy is so dependent on a holiday, the purpose of which is to give to others.

Think about it. We don’t wait in long lines and brave insane traffic for ourselves. We don’t clip coupons and scan through circulars for out own wants. We shop for others. We give gifts to others. We spend time and effort thinking what would make others happy.

Maybe some micron-economists estimate that holiday giving is actually a $5 million dollar dead weight to out economy due mainly to the purchase of presents that no one really wants… that is why we invented the “gift card” of course. Seriously though, is giving really ever a “dead weight?”

Yes, every year stores bring out the Christmas or holiday decorations a few days earlier. Yes, some of the deal hunting is cutthroat. Yes, some of the commercials are overdone. But in the heart of it all, we the shoppers are buying to give to others.
There are many worse ways to base an economy around than gifts to others.

Edited by Ryan Stolte-Sawa.