Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, seasonal music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore. Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world and is a significant, vital supporter of many nations’ economies. In an ever increasingly diverse and often divisive world, Christmas is one of the few times when many millions of people come together to enjoy a shared experience.
For marketers of all things marketable the season is a time when annual sales objectives are realized, financial losses turned into gains and prospects and promise for another year realized. The season is filled with many traditions formed by many generations, yielding many memories and emotions. Selling to those traditions, memories and emotions provides a cornucopia of marketing tactics; anticipation, trust, surprise and admiration. As a result of the effort, this year the holiday season will produce an estimated $602.1 billion in sales and revenue for the nations’ retailers, who will hire an additional 750,000 seasonal workers help them realize the increased sales volume throughout the holiday period. The impact of the season on the economics of this nation and many more around the world cannot be overstated. But with it all, the Christmas holiday brings with it a whole other dimension:
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ~Dr. Seuss
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and peace on earth, good will to all.