Today is Valentines Day, and it got me thinking about holidays in general.The best of times was always during the holidays
Thanksgiving was a big deal when I was a kid. For us, it literally was over the river (a wood bridge) and through the woods to Grandma’s house we went. Relatives gathered. But mostly what I was waiting for was the Friday after Thanksgiving.
I vividly recall the day and weekend immediately after Thanksgiving as something really big and special, when I was a kid. That was the official start of the Christmas season. That’s when you drove into the city, to the big department store on public square, and saw Santa Claus, and shopped, and, in my case, got a snowball sundae at the Sterling-Linden department store’s cafeteria.
The death of the downtown department store as mecca has destroyed a lot of ‘specialness.’ Now the holiday shopping experience surrounds you and bombards you.
Worse, now Christmas season starts before Halloween. I’m sick of it before Thanksgiving even gets here. I don’t think we’ve done the kids, ourselves or even retail commerce any favors by stretching the season into a calendar quarter.
But the bigger point is how much of “the special” has been taken away, spoiled, diminished and diluted.
There’s real opportunity there for the marketer who finds a way to give his customers a truly special event, something to look forward to with anticipation, to experience with awe and wonder and fun.