So here it is Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun.
Or maybe not - being as it’s still November.
But it seems time, tide and rapacious retail sector wait for no man or woman in their inexorable quest for cash.
We’ve had the Christmas ads already with John Lewis’ feelings-fest seemingly now marking the start of the Christmas period rather than opening the first door on the Advent calendar.
There’s also Sainsburys who appear to have snatched the festive advertising thunder (if there is such a thing) with their World War One Christmas epic in which we see the troops venture from their trenches to play football in 1914.
If you’ve not seen it then it ends with soldiers swapping gifts – a bit like a sort of Secret Santa – and the ad raises money for the Royal British Legion.
It fails to show the next few years’ worth of horror and loss. Maybe a Valentine’s Day marketing option?
Talking of Germans (as we almost were) Essen-based supermarket cum Big Four worrier Aldi also has an ad as it continues grinding down the market share of the bigger store chains.
This one features Jules Holland. It’s basically the most middle class call to arms since the last John Lewis ad ie the week before.
But for all the Christmas hoo-hah in mid-November there’s a new kid on the block who seems determined to destroy Christmas - and particularly the annual Boxing Day sales.
Yes, this transatlantic interloper could well kill off the annual tradition of those people with nothing better to do than stand outside Next at 5am and then try and crawl over each other to buy a jumper that has legs for arms and ends up being suitable for an anorexic octopus.
I talk of Black Friday. No, it’s not a horror movie but rather an American institution. Like Alcatraz.
Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving (what’s that?) in the US.
Basically it’s their Boxing Day but a month early. And called something else.
Apparently the day’s name came from Philadelphia, where it was originally used to describe the heavy traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.
Maybe lots of undertakers were heading back to the office?
An alternative explanation for the ‘Black’ prefix was mooted later, with it being the day that retailers went into profit for the year ie out of the red and into the black.
Frankly I prefer the proliferation of hearses in downtown Philadelphia.
Either way, the increasingly global nature of our daily lives would appear to mean that Black Friday is here to stay.
Amazon, Apple, Asda and other companies beginning with other letters of the alphabet are some of the biggest backers of the phenomenon.
But it doesn’t stop with Black Friday.
And this is my favourite neologism of the year – Grey Thursday.
Basically the Black Friday sale starts on Thanksgiving itself. Because the shops are shut, this means it’s online and tends to be in the evening.
I can see the logic – you’ve been stuck at home with your family all day so will be anything to break the boredom of conversation about Auntie Sue’s infected corns or how well smug Cousin Paul is getting on in his new job.
People tend to get cash for presents also, so you’ve got someone primed to shop.
But why wait til Grey Thursday?
Surely Opaque Wednesday or Almost Transparent Tuesday could be a winner. By the time you have read this I may well have trademarked those names by the way.
I suppose you could say that all these sales are good for the shopper in that gifts they may want to buy are reduced thus saving them cash.
However, I like Christmas at Christmas. And then I enjoy New Year and spotting the first Cadbury’s Easter Egg in January - a proper British tradition.