It seems that every month there is at least one or two holidays that encourage people to shop. I stopped by the Nob Hill Market Sunday afternoon around 3 pm to pick up some cat food and a bag of onions. I didn't expect it to be crowded, but the checkout lines were all busy with people, mostly men, buying beer and/or chips and/or salsa. Ooo I remembered it is Superbowl Sunday. Party Time!
Let's see we just had New Year's Eve and Day, Christmas, and Chanukah which has been elevated from a minor Jewish holiday to an important holiday for Jewish shoppers.
Today is Groundhog Day, which Woodchuck Cider has renamed Woodchuck Day. It's time to buy Cider.
February 14th is Valentine's Day. Romance, candles, greeting cards, wine, perfume, expensive gifts, hotel reservations. I'm sure I left out some ways to spend, er celebrate, this artificially romantic occasion.
For feminists who deplore the often sexist aspects of Valentine's Day, it is followed on Sunday by Susan B. Anthony Day to celebrate women's suffrage. If you are hoping for a woman President in 2016, possibly Hilary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Sara Palin, or Ma Kettle, February 16th is Presidents' Day.
This is just scrolling through my digital planner for February. This is what Congress does best, next to naming Post Offices, naming days of the year for something or someone that gives retailers, restaurants, hoteliers, florists, and other clever marketers an excuse to have a sale or a special or another way to exploit whoever or whatever is being celebrated that day.
Am I being too cynical about it? Probably, but I'm getting a little tired of the constant promotion of every day to throw a party, hold a barbecue, buy a card or a gift. I wrote a similar blog two years ago about the commercialization of Thanksgiving. I quoted President Calvin Coolidge who famously said, "After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world." He made this perceptive observation 90 years ago.
President Coolidge was the original conservative. He was President from 1923 to 1929, just before the crash which was blamed on his successor, President Herbert Hoover. Who knows how much of Coolidge's less government is best philosophy lead to the Great Depression, or maybe it wouldn't have happened if his policies had continued. I'll leave that to historians and economists to sort out, but the American economy runs on shopping and if every day is a holiday then a-shopping we shall go.