My earliest memories of my late father include heading out to scoop up bargains on the day after Christmas. What, I wondered at the age of four, could be better than buying plastic reindeer and strings of fat multicolored bulbs for 50 percent off — 364 days before you'd ever want to use them?
Nothing, I concluded. It was fun, even exciting, a way to effectively extend the magic of the holiday just a little longer.
And now, through a flurry of ill-conceived marketing, the fun is over. Some Master Marketer who clearly lacked access to a calendar decided that After Christmas Sales would be even better before Christmas. And that triggered a rash of related, equally annoying decisions to accelerate sales of all kinds.
Black Friday on Thursday, anyone? How about Cyber Monday on Saturday? Why don't we just have sales all month long?
But that's not all. After the sales are accelerated, many of them are extended — so all those Cyber Monday specials are still out there on Thursday.