This week ushers in the official beginning of every consumer's favorite time of year - holiday shopping season. Beginning with Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday specials this week, which has already expanded into a weeks-long affair on internet-based
This week ushers in the official beginning of every consumer’s favorite time of year — holiday shopping season. Beginning with Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday specials this week, which has already expanded into a weeks-long affair on internet-based sites like Amazon, the frenzied pressure to obtain the perfect gift for every friend, coworker and loved one in your life will begin to mount and build with each passing lunch break and weekend that goes by until the New Year. And although we are more than happy to repeat and shout the oft-touted the merits of shopping locally at small businesses over big box and aforementioned e-giants — it is the Rhode Island way, after all — we want to use this space to preach a different message targeted towards navigating this time of year with the added perspective of the time and place we find ourselves in. COVID has fundamentally altered the way we interact with the world, and it should come as no surprise that the pandemic has also put a massive strain on the fragility of the global supply chain. We have covered these challenges in past editorials, but it warrants repeating that this shopping season may be wrought with more items being sold out or unavailable than any year in recent memory. Electronics and factory-made items will be scarce and skyrocketing in price as the season progresses. Don’t be surprised if you can’t fulfill the wishes of teenagers looking for the newest video game console or computer graphics card — the supply of these sophisticated chips is simply abysmal at the moment. But semiconductor shortages can show up in even the most unexpected of places, like any children’s toy that has a circuit board inside. Don’t expect to impress the fiancée with a brand-new car any time soon either. These supply issues provide the opportunity to get back to the origins of what the holiday season is truly about. Rather than focusing on getting the most cutting-edge thing that will become just another possession, perhaps prioritize something handmade, like a photo album or framed picture, to show someone that you cherish memories with them. Impart the wisdom onto your children that the holidays are more about gathering with your loved ones (safely, and after being vaccinated if possible), than they are about material gains. Lastly, Black Friday season has become a bit of an international meme when it comes to observing Americans at their worst moments of selfish, boorish behavior. Do not allow supply shortages to turn you into a Grinch at the shopping mall, spreading negativity to employees working through the holidays and dealing with problems far beyond their own control.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here