Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Christmas 2008 is supposed to be the year that people are closing their wallets for this shopping season. People are supposed to be tightening their belt straps and refraining from the normal frenzy of the usual Christmas shopping of years gone by. Somehow I doubt that.

I have been to the mall twice this season, not to buy Christmas presents, although I did buy some, but to go to my favorite store for holiday decorations. Last night I looked at the mantel above my fireplace where I have two gold reindeer perched on its ledge on either side of my lit and decorated Christmas wreath and thought it looked a little bare, perhaps some glittery colorful ornaments would brightening the mantel up, so I set out to find some.

When I arrived at the mall I found the parking lot was a zoo. The parking lot was near full to capacity, and people were stalking shoppers as they left the mall with their packages, so they could claim their parking space. Speaking for myself, I never care where I am parked, so I took one at the very back of the parking lot and walked. Once inside the mall the walkways were packed with shoppers, not just browsing, but actually buying. The sales were excellent! As I shopped I watched shoppers line up at the register to make their purchases. Business was brisk.

It was even that way at Costco when I arrived there to buy a box of fake logs for the fireplace. After all, what are the holidays without a roaring fire in the fireplace? Even there the place was full of shoppers buying and buying a lot. There were huge gaps in their inventory. I noticed it especially around the European chocolate. Of course, I thought that was an excellent choice for a gift, or to have for guests at Christmas gatherings.

Parents had their children with them, their eyes were round as they played with the toys that were out. The younger ones pointed at toys they wanted and emphatically asked if Santa Claus was getting them that.

When I found what I wanted, the fire logs, and some that I did not, the exotic vanilla beans; I found that I could hardly get the near register to pay for my meager purchases. People were buying and buying a lot, carts were lined seven deep.

As I cast my gaze around the mall and at Costco, I had to say to myself, this Christmas season is not going to be a bust season for retailers or most of them anyway. People are buying and they are buying a lot. It was enough to almost make me forget were are in a major recession, and the biggest financial crisis this side of the Great Depression.