Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!?

The Saturday Edition of the Winnipeg Fress Press glowed..."Spend, Spend, Spend."

Here is the article (edited a bit by moi)

"VISA Canada spokeswoman Tania Freedman said the credit card company predicted 300 VISA transactions would take place every second between 2 and 4 p.m. Friday across Canada. Managers of Winnipeg's two largest malls endorsed that scenario.

"We had line-ups for gift cards at 9:30 (Friday) morning, and with many people getting off work earlier, we expect it to be busier (Friday) afternoon," said Deborah Green, manager of Polo Park.

"Typically, the 23rd is the busiest shopping day, but when Christmas falls on a Monday, we found that the 22nd is the busiest," Freedman said.

Retailers across the city were scrambling to serve shoppers Friday.

Scotiabank predicted that individual Manitobans will spend an average of $825 for the Christmas season, slightly above the Canadian average of $822 per person. The Scotiabank Holiday Spending study found Canadians on the whole will spend less this year than last year.
The Scotiabank study found that the biggest spenders will be in Atlantic Canada, where per person spending is expected to be $1,049; the lowest individual spending is expected to be in Quebec, with an average of $626.

Robinson and other retailers said Winnipeggers are spending more this season than they have in the past. Robinson said December sales generally account for 15 to 20 per cent of the year's gross receipts.

"Last year was our best season and we're up over last year," Robinson said.
Green said Polo Park merchants told her that they were expecting sales to be higher this year compared to last year.

Tineke Buiskool-Leeuwma, marketing director at St. Vital Centre, said retailers at the south-end mall have been busy since November. Business has picked up every day as Christmas approached. "People started shopping earlier this year," Buiskool-Leeuwma said, adding that malls were open to 11 p.m. Friday and will be open to 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Green said Polo Park merchants said they haven't seen any panic buying this year, with their customers also starting shopping earlier.

"Our stores have been reporting fantastic sales, but there's no panic in shoppers like in previous years," Green said. "Maybe it's the weather ... There's little snow and driving conditions are good and it's not freezing out ... but all the shoppers seem happy. They're in a good mood and everyone's spending money."

Freedman said VISA Canada's annual Christmas shopping survey found that shoppers expect to spend $20 billion this year, up from the $19.5 billion predicted last year. She said that post-Christmas surveys historically found shoppers underestimate how much they'll spend by 10 to 15 per cent.

Freedman said plastic is the most common form of payment: 44 per cent of Canadians will use their debit cards; 30 per cent will use credit cards. She said 24 per cent of Canadian shoppers will use cash.

This was a great article by Aldo! But when it comes to Christmas, I ask a simple question....what for? What is all this for? I do not want to sound like a scrooge....maybe I do.....wait, I guess I must only be happy if I am spending money on something that no one really needs or wants.

What for? I guess this is what Christmas is all about!?!


Anonymous said...

Okay I know you are trying to start a debate about consumerism but my first reaction to this posting is this: I wish.

My life situation is such that I don’t receive or give very many presents. This year my father didn’t even give me the cheque he usually does (unless he is going to email it.) I miss Christmas morning by the tree. I would gladly spend $825 to get that back. Presents make you feel loved and valued and valuable. There are a lot worse ways to spend money than spending it on gifts for others.

Little Worshiper said...

I like hanging out with familiy on my side and my husband's side. Presents are nice but i can buy myself the gifts I get so it's not about those for me. I really really like an excuse to hang out with family all at one time. It's nice to be with people who just see me as a daughter, sister, cousin, and not in the leadership role that i'm in all the time.
as far as spiritual things go, I think Easter is way more of a celebration than Christmas. I'm all about the "christmas Spirit."
Merry Christmas!

Scott said...

Honestly i couldnt care less about presents. One of the best gifts i recieved this year was a letter telling me that on my behalf, money was given to World Vision. That made me feel good, not the other gifts i got, they just make my life easier.

I also posted on my blog a bit about consumerism a what the Pope had to say this year at his yearly Urbi et Orbi, wonder how many of you know that before reading my thing. Anyways Merry Christmas!

Stephanie G. said...

The amount of money that people spent on gifts for people who don't really need them blows my mind as well. It is good to show people that we care about them by giving them stuff, but it can definitely cloud the fact that we're celebrating Jesus' birthday. At our house we have tried to teach our kids that its not about getting stuff (although we are very thankful for the loving gifts we receive), its about giving love to people, sharing what we have with those in need, and telling people about God's greatest gift to us; Jesus. I'm not sure they get it quite yet, but I'm confident that they will if me and Jimmy consistently live out what we believe... Here's my youngest one's comment on Christmas morning: "Getting IS better than giving, but I do like giving too".