Friday, September 9, 2011

From Super Bowl Parties to Christmas . . . and every Holiday In Between

by Gina Welborn

I am a shopaholic.

Really, I am, and I'm not to proud of it. Superman has his kryptonite. I have credit cards. Not to mention I can't balance a budget (or checkbook) to save my life. Why does "round up" not make sense?

Sing with me (cue the Beetles' music): "They say I'm a shopaholic, but I'm not the only one."

While I love the free market system, I hate that we've become a society where stores spring up to focus on one holiday alone. Yes, I've been inside The Christmas Mouse in August, and yes, yes, yes, I bought something. Does it make me look better if I confess what I bought was on sale? Eh. Thought I'd try at least.

Did you know there are 13 to 20 shopping seasons? Here's a few, not including prominent holidays such as Valenties, St. Patrick's, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

At some point, hanging in there
just makes you look like
an even bigger loser.
January :: "Storage and Organization" at Target where they give prime space to exercise equipment, vitamins, and organizing bins. (I personally favor buying "demotivators." New Years' resolutions only last so long. A demotivator keeps you laughing year round.)

January/February :: The Big Game where at Sam's Club grills, TVs, and barbecue-friendly foods are featured.

April :: Lowe's, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and others are sure to remind you about "Lawn and Garden" month.

May/June :: Did you know tissue sales usually drop in the summer. Thus, Kleenex came out with ice-cream-themed boxes. After all, who doesn't need a kleenex with her ice cream? Truly a timely innovation.

July/August :: You don't even have to have kids to know this season's focus -- BACK TO SCHOOL!

click here for quick protection tips
October :: Pink is everywhere. Men, it's time to unite and demand a Prostrate Cancer Awareness Month. October also just so happenes to be "Cough, Cold and Flu" season. (Which should not be confused with late spring's "Allergy Season.")

Why all these seasons? To get people to buy impulsively,impulsive shopping is just not done as much anymore. Thus we're seeing more special displays, seasonal colors, and end-caps with everything you need for a meal in one spot.

 And that makes me just plain tired of shopping. My husband is thrilled.

QUESTION OF THE DAY :: What steps have you taken to lesson the contast product-placement bombardment? Shops less places? Give yourself a time limit to shop? Make a list and stick only to it?

NON-SERIOUS QUESTION OF THE DAY :: Seriously, we need a new shopping season! Something that will cause vast hordes of people to buy ______.  And we can call it ______.

GINA WELBORN worked in news radio scripting copy until she took up writing romances. She is a 2009 ACFW GENESIS historical romance finalist and a 2007 RWA GOLDEN HEART® inspirational finalist. As a member of RWA and ACFW, she’s an active contest judge and coordinator. This Oklahoma-raised girl now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her youth-pastor husband, their five Okie-Hokie children, and a Sharpador Retriever who doesn’t retrieve much of anything. Her first novella, “Sugarplum Hearts,” part of the HIGHLAND CROSSINGS anthology, will be released by Barbour in January 2012.


  1. I've never been one to shop till I drop. I just have a few places where I shop, as infrequently as possible. But the things I love to shop for: books, purses, chocolate, and electronic gadgets. Okay, so we can have a Suzie Jo Purse Appreciation Day, and we can buy tons of Fossil bags filled with books, chocolates and the latest gadgets.

    Fun post, Gina.

  2. I'm not a shopper. My only real weaknesses would be buying earrings and I only do that if I'm on vacation. Books DVDs and CDs on Amazon go in my cart but stay there. Sadly.

    I'm all for a book buying season. I'll work on the marketing when I get some time.

    If I feel like spending money I just buy a tank of gas and if I don't feel like spending I still buy a tank of gas

  3. My roommate used to work in the corporate part of a large department store and the stories she'd tell about when exactly they would start planning for their Christmas sales and how they would slowly sneak Christmas items onto the shelves would make your toes curl!!

    I'm not a big fan of shopping ie spending money but I do like a bit of window shopping!!

  4. I mostly like to bargain shop, but I've become such a recluse in the last few years, it's put a big dent in my shopping. If I have to shop, I try to go at off times when the stores are empty. I'm starting to dread holidays and even birthdays. Awful, I know.

  5. A quick way to get out of the must-have-it mindset is to avoid "triggers." Our culture markets to us ALL THE TIME, and if we are not careful, accumulating stuff becomes our default means for dealing with life. (Bored? Go shopping. Disappointed? Spend money. Sad? Buy something nice for yourself.)

    Shopping malls and stores are designed for one purpose -- to get you to spend money. Also, women's magazines are designed to make women feel discontented -- with your looks (but you can improve them with with the right clothes and makeup) or with your environment (but you'll feel so much better with a kitchen makeover). And don't forget commercials and ads, whose sole purpose is to give us a case of "I'd like..."

    Which isn't to say I don't like looking nice (just check out my closet) and I don't want to be surrounded by nice thing, but I try to engage the marketers on my terms, when I'm ready to buy something specific. (And have the money to spend!)

  6. First of all, I LOVE Now I need to go visit for a laugh.

    Our Costco already has Christmas stuff. More than Halloween stuff.

    There are Christian retail seasons in addition to the usuals, too. Like Pastor Appreciation month (Oct, isn't it?) and VBS season (even Oriental Trading gets in on that one, selling oodles of stuff pertinent to the big VBS themes of the year).

    I like to shop, sigh. But I'm truly trying to simplify. I'm in danger of being buried by books if an earthquake hits, so...

  7. Suzie, I love the idea of purse appreciation day. We should go purse shopping together. How long does it take for you to buy one? Do you "try it out" in the store?

  8. LOL, Deb!!!!

    How much is gas these days? Hubby fills my surburban, and the other day I remember him saying it cost $91. Ouch. Thus I try not to drive anywhere or when I do go out, make the trip worthwhile.

    Today Niley said when we got home, "This was the best day. We had ice cream and then we went and bought stuff."

    I had a $10 off coupon from Dillard's. So my goal was to find something around $10. Ended up they had belts on clearance.

    $48 thin Ralph Lauren reversible belt (brown one side, taupe snakeskin on the other) for $1.99.

    $36 thin Fossil belt gold with faux diamond studs for $1.99.

    $38 wide Steve Madden black belt for (you guessed it) $1.99.

    $38 wide Steve Madden black snakeskin belt for $13.30.

    $154 retail price
    $11.82 paid

    And I had just sold a bag of Niley's 3T for $10.

    Final cost to me :: $1.82

  9. Laura Elizabeth, thanks for stopping in!

    Where's your favorite place to window shop?

    If you could have a $100 giftcard to any store, what would it be? Would the store change if I said it was a $1000 or $10,000 giftcard?

  10. Dina, I have one word for you:



  11. True, but how do you get those on sale?

  12. Amen, C.J.!!!!

    The only reason I went into Dillard's today was because I had my giftcard and that $10 from selling the clothes. Obviously I had a price limit on what I could/would buy.

    I was wanting a leather wallet thingy to hold business cards. Too expense. Clearance jewelry, too expensive. Then I saw the belts and realized I could use a new one either brown or gold or silver. Didn't find a silver one.

  13. Dina, I don't know?! Seriously I just went to Dillard's today of all days because I was at Kroger (needed groceries) meeting the lady who was buying Niley's hand-me-downs. Then I remembered I had that giftcard and was wanting something new/fun/useful for conference.

    I found a belt that would go with an outfit I had then saw the $1.99 sticker. Hmm. Got me thinking. I wonder if any other belts are clearanced this cheap. I actually found a few others that were too small. I debated buying them anyway since they were so cheap, but I realized I couldn't keep spending money like that.

    So I said, "Lord, I'm going to put these back so someone else can be blessed like I was."

  14. Hehehe. I love to shop. In thrift shops. I'm too cheap to willingly pay full price for anything.

  15. I'm not much of a clothes, purse or shoe shopper, but I'm SUCH a sucker for books, fabrics and sewing notions.

    And a sale on any of the above.

    It's amazing how easy the internet has made shopping, too.

    And Amazon has EVERYTHING!!

    It's amazing how "just $15" here and "only $20" there adds up by the end of the month.

    Bad, bad, bad . . .

  16. I'm not a shopper. The only time I can drum up the enthusiasm is for clearance.

    And books. And sometimes craft stores.

  17. I like to shop, but I have to be in the mood. I'm totally tapped out on the creativity thing or I would sooo come up with a rocking new holiday. Maybe something for moms, like the day after back to school. I envision chocolate and bath salts and romance novels playing a big role in this day.

  18. Gina, I would love to go purse shopping with you. To answer your question, yes! I always try the purse on before I buy it. It does take me a while because I love to look at purses. But, if I see just the right one, I know instantly that I "need" it. Lol. I do, however, always get them on sale. Purses are too expensive to pay full price.

    Susie D - since you have all those books to worry about, I guess it's a good thing today's earthquake struck up here and not down there...

  19. I've been averaging one new piece of clothing per year. Well not counting the kind of clothes that come in packages of six. And why is a pair of underwear a pair anyhoo?

    I do boost my wardrobe at the Salvation Army store. But I only buy things that are color coded to be half off that day. I go full price on things like movies or books when i have to --Jane Eyre or Redeeming the Rogue for example.


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