Kathleen Antrim has an interesting column at the Examiner about the impact Christmas makes, especially economically, whether it is acknowledged or not.
“Happy Holidays” is the politically correct greeting for many retailers these days, but isn’t it incredibly hypocritical for businesses to take immense profits from a holiday they refuse to call by its proper name?
In fact, we all benefit from the economic powerhouse of the Christmas season regardless of religious affiliation.
What was once a season composed predominately of religious celebrations, the gathering together with family and friends, rejoicing and good cheer has become an economic necessity.
The gift-giving season can literally bestow economic prosperity on many industries or destroy an otherwise financially stable year. And although other religious occasions have also become gift-giving occasions, it is an economic fact that Christmas is the major driver all year for many retailers and other businesses.
The numbers are mind-boggling. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, December accounted for 14 percent of all department store retail sales in 2005, totalling $31.7 billion. This was a 47 percent jump from the previous month, and the largest month-to-month increase for 2005.
And it wasn’t just the department stores that enjoyed big sales increases between November and December last year. Book stores were up 96 percent, clothing stores 49 percent, radio, TV and other electronics stores 54 percent, sporting goods stores 67 percent and jewelry stores were up a whopping 174 percent. Apparently, Santa likes a bit of “bling” under the Christmas tree.
Christmas not only drives retail sales for gift-giving, but also affects an amazing number of ancillary industries as well.She goes on to give some pretty amazing figures showing how much China profits from Christmas. Read it all.