Avoid the Christmas Monster

By Mark Brown

Avoid the Christmas Monster

by Mark Brown

Here we go again. Jack-o-lantern recently tossed in garbage. Discussions about Thanksgiving; that gravy boat needs replacing, or was it the turkey platter? You feel it? Recognize that small twitch in your left eye? Tightening in the pit of your stomach? Yep. It’s coming. The stores had the displays out before you even thought about back-to-school clothes! Why does Christmas arrive earlier every year? And how do we stop it?

Take a breath. Accept the inevitable: The holidays are here, and if you haven’t noticed, all of the gifts you could possibly need are already on the shelves, NOW. For retailers, Christmas doesn’t sneak up. They’ve been dealing with it since early January. The planning, the hotels, the questionable food, the pushy vendors, the endless days “at market” getting ready for the NEXT Christmas/holiday season.

Everyone has their Christmas shopping habits. I’ve been guilty of all. Some folks see it as a year round sport, perpetually on the lookout for the perfect gift. Then there’s the frustrated, shopper who waits until AFTER Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday to find that “must have” gift. Their heart is in the right place. They just wanted to stuff the turkey without thinking about stuffing the stockings.

Then there are the “last minute” shoppers. They just know that the hot item everyone has been paying top dollar for (and hasn’t been seen since 4am on Black Friday) will miraculously appear on store shelves two days before Christmas, deeply discounted. Finally there are those who, once again this year, didn’t realize that Christmas falls on December 25th. We usually call these people “husbands.”

It’s sad when anyone misses out on the joy of the Christmas season, when they don’t see the blessings. Yes, merchants want you to spend money with them, but the truth is, we want you to enjoy it. The best advice I can give to avoid disappointment and crowds? SHOP EARLY. Shop weekdays. Shop now, the store shelves are full. Have a budget and keep your expectations realistic. Slow down, and enjoy time with family and friends!

About this writer

  • Mark Brown

    Mark Brown

    Mark Brown is the Manager of Tomlinsons Warehouse Sales, a South Carolina family owned department store carrying men’s & ladies clothing; home goods from bedding to lamps & wall decor; gifts for everyone. Located at 430 Hwy 17-N in Surfside Beach, they are open Mon thru Sat. Mark and staff thank you for shopping local and hope you have a Merry Christmas!

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