Well, Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat.
Maybe not too fat. The goose may be a little thin these days. With all that’s going on right now — recovering from a government shutdown, furloughs, a budget battle — people don’t really feel good about the economy. And when people don’t feel good about the economy, retailers worry.
They worry so much that Black Friday is spilling over to Thanksgiving Day, even earlier this year. Major box stores are offering can’t-be-beat sales as early as 6 p.m. and promising customers that they will get that coveted item if they stand in line, or will guarantee the item will be shipped to them before Christmas.
“The earlier times, competitive deals and spike in ‘guaranteed’ products signify retailers pulling out all the stops to bring in more customers, as they enter a shorter shopping season with more wary shoppers,” Annika McGinnis of USA Today writes.
So will extending Black Friday and pulling people into the stores work? After all, consumer confidence is at its lowest since 2011.
“Confidence gauges only reflect what people say about how they think they feel,” Justin Lahart of the Wall Street Journal writes. “Other more tangible forces suggest spending through the end of the year should be robust.”
Other tangible forces. We are consumers after all. We spend. We give. We buy. We love to save. We’ll spend twice as much to save a little. With six fewer days to Christmas this season than last year following Thanksgiving, it could be that shoppers will get in a frenzy and prove they are confident after all, especially when it comes to getting Johnny and Suzie the gift they’ve been asking for all year.
We wanted to know just how confident our readers were about shopping this holiday season, so we asked, as we often do, on our online poll, which can be found at www.timeswv.com.
Last week, we asked our readers, “How would you describe how much you plan to spend on Christmas shopping this year?” And here is what you had to say:
• Santa, baby — I’m getting great deals on Black Friday and will be shopping the sales all season — 3.7 percent.
• George Bailey — I always worry, but in the end the most important thing is time with family — 46.91 percent.
• Scrooge — Things have been tough this year so I’m paring down — 49.38 percent.
That’s what readers said last week. Time will tell, as the kickoff to be holiday shopping season begins in five short days. Or four, if you plan on shopping right after turkey.
And speaking of turkey, let’s talk about that this week. Many are upset that stores are staying open on the holiday this year, meaning employees can’t spend the day with their families. Where do you stand on the issue?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
Well, Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
- More Opinion Headlines
- ‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia