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.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
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- Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial