An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
HALLOWEEN CANDY was in short supply yesterday, if you were one of us who waited until the last minute as usual.
But now that we have that out of the way, we can get going on Christmas.
Wait, you say, what about Remembrance Day?
Problem is, with the full-court press on for Christmas shopping, Remembrance Day is getting lost in the shuffle. Blame it on the supply chain.
One can’t help but suspect this so-called supply-chain problem is just another grand conspiracy to create a sense of urgency among shoppers, sort of like the Care Bear and My Little Pony shortages of years ago.
But, apparently, it’s real, centering on massive backlogs at our ports caused by the pandemic. One hundred and five ships are reportedly parked off our West Coast because there’s no room for them in port. It won’t help, either, if we keep dumping sea cans overboard.
According to a Retail Council of Canada survey, many of us are already Christmas shopping. Thirty per cent said they intended to start by the end of October, and 36 per cent said they’ll hit the stores sometime this month. Forty-thee per cent plan to shop hard on Black Friday, 35 per cent on Cyber Monday, but retail experts say that might be too late.
Shortages are predicted on toys (of course) as well as electronics (there’s some kind of chip shortage going on), even clothing and, especially, anything made in China, which is most of the products we consume.
Pandemic or not, we’re being pressured more and more to begin Christmas shopping in October and even September, and there are no longer reprieves between Thanksgiving, Halloween, Remembrance Day and Christmas.
Maybe the shortage is real, or maybe imagined just as the toilet paper shortage was, but wouldn’t it be great if we could at least wait until after we show our respects on Remembrance Day before jumping into the Christmas panic?
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.