Joy to the world, a little earlier this year


Rhea Braganza, Staff Writer

The start of the holiday season has always been a controversial topic. The ongoing debate of “when should Christmas start?” happens each year. How much justice should Thanksgiving get? 2020 has obviously been a very stressful year for everybody, many even found themselves putting their Christmas trees back up in late March to feel more joyous while being stuck in their homes. So this year, when it comes to the pre-Thanksgiving Christmas preparations, there’s a little less of a debate than normal. Many who are strongly against pre-Thanksgiving Christmas preparations, are giving others a break and sympathy because a little bit of Christmas cheer is what the world needs right now.


It seems like every year there’s this whole drama of stores already having all their Christmas trees and winter decorations out even before halloween and essentially sweeping Thanksgiving under the rug. The retail industry was hit pretty hard when quarantine started, with malls closed and people advised to stay home and order online. From a marketing standpoint it’s smart to put what most people find joy in out when they return from a dark place, like a light at the end of the tunnel. But it’s not actually the end, shoppers return to stores (masked of course) to get, for example, halloween candy and they walk in and see the store decked out in red and green, their mood will most likely be lifted and they’ll feel joyous enough to start buying Christmas decorations earlier than they normally would.


This year the holidays look different than normal. Travel is limited and uncertain for many, meaning going home or visiting family is not able to safely happen for most. Those holiday traditions that have made winter break and the holiday season special, like seeing your grandparents or having a holiday party, are basically off the table because of the current state of the world. This is especially true as the upcoming winter season takes away comfortable outdoor events. Also, with recent spikes of cases, national talk of another shutdown has everyone feeling a sense of uncertainty. Many have taken a note that online shopping is the new reality and have adjusted.


Rory O’Connor, CEO & Founder of Scurri, a cloud-based ordering software, has advised people to not wait until the last minute to order online because of shipping time and also the inventory in stores won’t be as high due to the disruption stores faced back in March, “It’s usually better to err on the side of caution when it comes to holiday shopping, however this is especially true this year, so shop early to avoid disappointment.”


With shopping online expected to be higher than normal, Amazon has hired 100,000 new employees and Fedex is hiring 70,000 new workers. Although ecommerce is expected to be more popular than years prior, this holiday season could make or break a company. CEO of the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), Andrew Goodacre, expressed his concerned that the projected number could just be people browsing, “There is no doubt that consumer focus on Christmas is starting early, but the initial ‘browsing’ is happening on-line, and the real threat is that the bulk of the purchases will remain on-line, especially if the Covid restrictions become tighter. Our fears are that many businesses will fold if Christmas sales do not live up to previous years.” 


Because of this, the holidays even came early to the shopping and business world.


The CDC has given advice and things to consider when celebrating the holidays here. And here is the Fairfax County specific guidelines for shopping centers and what events and activities each place is offering.