Today is the day after Boxing Day and the core Christmas holidays are over for another year. Whether you feel regret or relief will depend on you as an individual. One thing I've noticed is that when elements of American culture are introduced into Britain they tend to proliferate quickly and become very established; a good example is the TV soap opera Dallas, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsVZUJVVaIE (Ironically the BBC got so annoyed with this upstart of a US import topping the viewing figures charts that they replaced it with TavistockEnders). Another of these phenomena is Black Friday, which I reported on last year, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/black-friday-riots.html. This year there was a Black Friday in the
I expect it was introduced as a test to see whether we Brits could be corralled
in the same way. It was a roaring success so no doubt there will be another one
next year. Interestingly it worked even though virtually nobody in the UK
celebrates Thanksgiving, see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/11244515/Where-to-find-the-best-Black-Friday-deals.html.
The traditional British equivalent of Black Friday is the post-Christmas
clearance which in progress right now; as I walked through the shopping streets
of Oxford today I saw
"sale" notices everywhere. The period leading up to Christmas is also
a commercialism fest and the Saturday before Christmas is always remarked upon
in the business news. However this year it was given a name: Panic Saturday.
The actual sales figures have yet to be published, but economic forecasters are
currently predicting a 21% increase on last year's profits.
"Consumers"... that's human
beings to you and me... apparently are more confident then in previous
years, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30560208.
Now, surely I'm not alone in suspecting that this whole enterprise is just a
marketing gimmick; I wouldn't be surprised if just giving it the name Panic Saturday
is enough to get more people out buying more presents for relatives they don't
like, who will probably just throw them away. There's an underlying political
agenda too to give the viewer the impression that this much-promised economic
recovery has finally arrived. With an election coming up in a few months,
memories of people walking down Oxford Street
with full shopping bags could be a significant vote decider.
See here for background: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/consumers-betray-your-economic-duty.html.