An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
ONE OF THE HALLMARKS of the free enterprise economy is our great enthusiasm for using just about any occasion on the calendar to go on a marketing spree or hold a sale.
If there isn’t already a holiday or other special day in existence, we make one up — like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing ‘Week.’
This is an especially busy time of year. We get through Labour Day and Thanksgiving, run smack into Hallowe’en and are now into the long and seemingly unending gauntlet of sales pitches for Christmas.
The marketing has expanded so much that it now overlaps. Stores don’t even wait for Hallowe’en to be over before they start in on the ‘Holiday Season.’
One ad really caught my eye a few days ago. A local chain store outlet invited veterans to come in and enjoy a 25 per cent discount during the Remembrance Day weekend.
It might be intended as a respectful gesture, but the prospect of commercializing Remembrance Day bothered me, so I looked around to see if it was happening elsewhere. Sure enough, in some Canadian communities there are Remembrance Day sales for such things as clothing, shoes and other items.
Good grief. I think it’s a fine thing when merchants decorate their windows to mark Remembrance Day and other special days, but turning them into just another excuse to make a buck is going too far.
We’ve already commercialized Valentine’s Day, Father’s and Mother’s Days, Easter, Labour Day, Halloween, and especially Christmas.
How far will it go? I found one example in the States in which a store held a Boston Marathon Bombings sale. How tacky is that?
Could we not leave one day, Remembrance Day, alone? Just to remember, and not to sell and to buy?
Could we even resist the urge to cover stores in tinsel and the other trappings of Christmas at least until the day after Remembrance Day?
Lest we forget?
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.