Despite odor of desperation and greed, holiday catalogs come early and often.

October 27, 2014

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The true Nightmare before Christmas…

You’re looking at the first pile of holiday catalogues to cram my home’s mailbox. They arrived October 15th, one half month before Halloween.

Disgusting retail bastards.

Look, I know I’m not a holiday kind of guy but does anyone (and I’m including demented, bored shut-ins) appreciate receiving Christmas catalogues in October? Do folks actually look at them, let alone use them? Do you? Surely some of us must. Or why on earth would so many companies continue killing trees to make reams and reams of this crap?

Obviously, much of it now comes via the Internet. Delete! Delete! Delete! But a shit-ton still arrives in the US mail, enough paper to snap a mailbox right off its hinges. (This has happened to me and I’d like to thank mail carriers everywhere for endlessly cramming.)

Being a copywriter, I’ve done my share of collateral. While not in the least bit glamorous I don’t begrudge it as a selling tool -part of the proverbial marketing mix. My father cut his teeth writing for the once-iconic Sear’s catalog. I get their value. As a consumer, I also appreciate a well-designed and informative catalog, from time to time. You know, something to look at on the toilet.

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“I’m not ready for Xmas.”

It’s the pre-pre-pre holiday part that chafes. It’s such a bad look. To me it reeks of desperation and greed. Doesn’t anyone in management worry about the long-term effects of shocking the consumer stream so early and often? I sure as hell won’t to do my actual Christmas shopping at a store that’s been bugging me about it since early Fall. I reckon I’m not alone. Yet, however large our group, we must still be a minority. As I wrote earlier, this seemingly premature Xmas pounding must demonstrate ROI.

Many years ago, I remember reading a particular “letter from the editor” in one of the magazines we get at home. In it, the man apologized in advance for all the subscription cards permeating his publication (basically all periodicals). He called them annoying and intrusive but said that until they stopped working they won’t stop using them. In other words, the tactics were crude but effective.

While I recoil at receiving holiday catalogs while baseball is still being played I also am not the one who does the vast majority of my family’s holiday shopping. Who knows? Maybe my wife and others like her get a warm feeling seeing ornamented fir trees sprouting up all over the kitchen counter. In our case, we might never know, as I immediately throw every single one of ‘em into the recycling.

Alas, there will be nothing I can do to stop the impending storm of TV commercials. Any day now.

4 Responses to “Despite odor of desperation and greed, holiday catalogs come early and often.”

  1. Caroliner said

    While researching for my son’s birthday decorations (I like to get creative once in a while and do my homework before I purchase.) I came across an entire section of Christmas trees, holiday villages and animated santas leering at me. I recoiled, it was early September. There is no need for this nonsense. By the time it rolls around to the holiday season we become numb to the actual holidays we are celebrating, and almost with relief do we pack away our decorations and slightly dusty trees for the next year.

  2. […] Despite odor of desperation and greed, holiday catalogs come early and often. […]

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