How would your perception of the holidays change if you knew there would be no presents this year? No presents to give and none to receive. What if there was no gift giving, no surprises under or on any tree, no white elephant exchanges?
Some of you may be jumping up and down uncontrollably because you can actually imagine getting 2-4 weeks of your life back by not having to shop this year. Some of you would be disappointed because you really do enjoy giving to others. The rest of you would just be bummed because you can hardly wait to dive into all those presents you hope to get.
If there were no presents this year how would this change YOU?
In today’s society, merchants around the world are depending on your shopping spree to help raise their profits for the year. They’re hoping that your list is a little longer than last year’s. They’re hoping that your holiday bonus is enough for you to buy a few extra stocking stuffers for each person on your list.
Societies around the world adopted gift-giving traditions such as hanging stockings to be filled with treats and giving and receiving other gifts. I read that most countries were participating in this tradition by the tenth century. The first recorded gifts were of home grown food and homemade items and now gift giving has grown into an empire.
In doing a little research for this article, I learned a new holiday shopping industry buzzword from http://www.internetretailer.com. Here is an excerpt from their site…
This year’s new buzz word is “webrooming,” courtesy, at least in part, of management and information technology consulting firm Accenture.
A new Accenture report on holiday shopping released October 2013 finds that 65% of online shoppers plan to “webroom” this holiday shopping season, that is, browse online and then head to a store to make their purchases.
“To be successful, retailers must be able to satisfy consumers who, more than ever, want to shop on their terms and expect every step in the journey to be a seamless one, whether they are online, shopping in a store or using their phones,” says Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice.
This is serious business. Consumers have come to demand a lot. We have come a long way from those home grown food and personalized homemade items.
According to the National Retail Federation, their 2012 survey shows that more than 88 million consumers shopped on Black Friday and more than 35 million shopped on Thanksgiving Day. Whew! That’s a lot of shoppers.
To relieve your suspense, there will be presents this year. There will be white elephant parties and gift exchanges, too many to count. As one of these potential 88 million consumers there is one thing I’d like you to consider as you’re making a list and checking it twice.
As you give, think about WHY you are giving. Are you giving out of obligation? Are you giving because you have always given? Are you giving because you love the receiver and you want to show it with a gift? Why are you giving?
In the hustle and bustle of buying and wrapping and re-gifting, remember that one of most precious gifts of all is your time. Just ask someone who has lost someone they love.
Be deliberate about the gifts you give. May they last longer than the holidays.