What the Calendar Tells Me This Thanksgiving Eve

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Along with celebratory events, there are a couple of academic-related and a dental appointment on my December schedule.

It all starts in earnest today.

Thanksgiving Eve metaphorically ushers in the “holiday season,” a bittersweet time from some perspectives. (Although “holiday” focused advertisements and other promotional messages have blanketed print, broadcast and digital mediums for several weeks.)

For those who could count their blessings through health and prosperity, family and friends, it’s indeed “the most wonderful time of the year.”

But for those who are sick and in need of food and shelter, alone or cast aside, it’s just another five-plus weeks of despair, sadness and uncertainty.

I count myself in the former group, blessed and thankful, although concerned that in this world we’ve inherited and nurtured that more of us are not included among those who have reason to be thankful.

The image of the calendar that accompanies this post reveals (if you can decipher my somewhat shoddy penmanship) notations of holiday-based parties and events slated for the month ahead — and that’s what I have scheduled as of today.

If history is an accurate barometer, assuredly there will be more appointments to note.

For the fact I was invited to share this time of year with others, I am, indeed thankful. There will be merriment, laughter, spirited conversation, food and libations.

From another perspective, I’m thankful for this time — right now — as I share these thoughts from my quiet office. It’s during these solitary times I find truth and beauty.

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Thanks, But I’m Not Giving Into the Holiday Shopping Madness

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Let’s start this post off with a little contest: Analyze this image and guess the number of stand-alone promotional print fliers included in the home delivery edition of today’s Chicago Tribune.

Hey, don’t cheat: Make your guess now, then continue reading.

The results are below, but please keep reading.  (After all, what else do you have to do today but cook and eat, watch parades and football on TV, and fall asleep on the couch.)

Of course, these print advertising vehicles are among the many ways retailers enlist shoppers to patronize their establishments in the countdown to Christmas.  The headlines proclaim “Blowout! Doorbusters” and “Huge Deals” and “Black Friday Sales,” although some stores are open later this afternoon.

Switch on the TV news after the turkey and trimmings have been crammed into the already jammed refrigerator, and I’ll guarantee local network owned and operated stations will broadcast reports of shoppers camped outside stores anxious to take advantage of that great 70 percent off deal on a flat screen TV.

Ah, the American consumer! The driving force behind our economy and free enterprise system.

Want proof? Visit this page from Trending Economics to get a perspective on U.S. consumer spending, which reached an all time high in 3Q 2017.

Well, in case you’re wondering, I do not plan to join the mad rush and grapple among the hoards of shoppers jockeying for a holiday deal this Thanksgiving Day, tomorrow on Black Friday or any other day this holiday season. (On second thought, I might visit a liquor store during the days ahead, because the holiday is always a little merrier with a great beer or glass of wine in hand.)

Honestly, I don’t need much in terms of material goods these days; would rather focus energies (and dollars) on the non-tangible stuff, like family and friends, learning and growing, peace and quiet.  That’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.

However, consumer spending keeps the U.S. economic engine running, so charge forward shoppers! I’ll be glad to share any or all of the promotional fliers that arrived on our doorstep this morning.

Now for the answer: Total of 40, however we received a duplicate copy of a very well-designed flier from a major retailer.  Still not enough to make me want to shop there this season.