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The Holidays!

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to gloat to you about all the junk food I have.  I went to a work-sponsored trade show this week, and at this show, we get to see all the exciting candies coming out this year, as well as some holiday goods we’ll see by year’s end.  At the beginning of the show, they gave us a reusable ugly bag (you know how I feel about those), and a handful of papers to peruse and promptly throw in the bag, never to be seen again.

Long story short, after seeing (and drooling over) all the wonderful candy all day long, the show came to a close.  This is when the real looting begins.  You see mild-mannered manager-types throwing elbows to be the first to get their mitts on 4.5 pound bags of gummy bears.  Being that I have sharp elbows, I secured one of these for myself.  Let me run through a list of what I got home with:

–4.5 pound bag of gummy bears
–Hot Tamales cotton candy (it’s gross; don’t buy it when it comes on the market)
–Mike & Ike cotton candy
–2 sample bags of chocolate covered pretzels
–Sample bag of gummy bears
–2 packs of 60-piece containers of Orbit gum
–Pop Rocks
–A 1.2 pound tub of chocolate protein powder
–4 sample pouches of the same protein powder (I told you I was greedy)
–Small bag of Coconut M&Ms (actually pretty good)
–A banana Moon Pie
–Mint Chocolate protein bar
–Small bag of gummy worms
–Four 4-ounce bags of gummy brains (they have liquid centers; it’s very “Fear Factor”)
–A Salted Nut Roll
–A grape-flavored wax mustache
–2 Fanny May mint-covered chocolate treats
–Small box of Good & Plenty
–2 new flavors on Wrigley 5 gum
–A Pop Rocks chocolate bar (yes, you read that right.  I’m saving it for a special occasion)

I know it sounds like I was overly-zealous in procuring sweet treats, but I was the least of the vendors’ problems.  As soon as the last speaker gave his closing statements, chairs hit the floor like ugly white guys in suits at a Benny Hinn conference as show patrons made the mad dash.  I saw women in heels and skirts hurdling over tables and swinging that reusable bag like a broadsword.

If you saw the L.A. riots on TV and thought, “That looks like a lot of people could get hurt”, you didn’t see anything compared to sugar-crazed trade show goers.  They were rushing like people at Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving.  We had to have greeters specially flown in so someone could get trampled in the stampede.

Here’s the insider information you REALLY came here for!

I know it seems a little early, but are you ready for Christmas yet?  You may not know this, but retailers have already been placing orders for the holidays.  Heck, I think Wal-Mart is already planning for Christmas 2011.  Just think: as you were opening presents on Christmas day, a small Filipino boy was busy behind a sewing machine, making ugly sweatshirts that say, “Christmas 2009” in goofy candy cane-shaped letters.  I wonder what foreigners think of the merchandise they produce for us?  My guess is they are thinking, “I love the working conditions here.  They don’t beat me as often, and I get a full 5 minutes for lunch now!” 

I’ve always thought other languages look goofy.  I mean, if I can’t read it, how can a small-town migrant worker read it?  That’s preposterous!  (I realize they MIGHT be able to read it because it’s the language they grew up reading.  I’m just saying.)

As a professional retailer, I am privy to the inside scoop I receive at trade shows about what is “hot” for the holidays this year.  I hate to give away all the secrets, but I wanted to fill you in so you would know how to behave as a customer this holiday season and buy everything the stores tell you to.

Believe it or not, the holidays actually start with Halloween.  With candy, costumes, and other assorted merchandise, retailers can find many ways to get a ton of money out of you.  At the trade show, they told us the “hot colors for Halloween”.  They are:



Really?  I wouldn’t have guessed that.  Not in a million years.  Since when is black a Halloween color?  Here’s my long-shot prediction: we might see a little orange sprinkled in there, too!

Also for Halloween, the market is seeing a trend toward “Halloween trees”.  It’s like a Christmas tree, but instead of being green or white, it’s black with purple (or orange) Christmas Halloween lights.  Add presents and a family dinner, and you can fully celebrate the birth of your dark lord.

Thanksgiving is pretty much a non-holiday at the retail level.  Sure, we’ll try to sell you some turkeys and roasting pans, but it’s not really where the money’s at.  We pretty well skipped over it at the show.

Christmas was the last holiday we saw.  As retailers, we get a wide selection of really hideous wrapping paper to choose from.  Really godawful.  Hearing some statistics about Christmas shoppers really opened my eyes to a few things, though.  Apparently, the demographic of people shopping for their pets is really underrepresented by the amount of merchandise available.  It’s a growing market (!), or so they tell me.

Did you know that 70% of pet owners spent at least $10 on their pet for Christmas?  That’s shocking!  So, we are going to go after that growing market this year by putting out bags filled with treats and toys, and Christmas stockings for your cat, dog, gerbil, or cougar.  I must admit I bought stockings for my cats last year.  It didn’t really work, though, because they wouldn’t keep their garters on.  On top of that, it took me almost two weeks just to get them to walk in heels.  They’re not getting anything for Christmas this year.

  1. February 26, 2009 at 12:47 am

    The sad thing is that some crazy cat lady has probably actually gotten their various cat children to successfully walk on heels.

    • kylebaxter
      February 26, 2009 at 12:58 am

      Well, good luck to her, because it was hell on me, and it infuriates the cat. haha

  2. Phil
    February 26, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    I don’t have a dark lord…It is amazing how far ahead they start looking at the Holidays though. It’s such a painful time of the year for those in the Grocery/Retail world. Glad you made it out with some tasty swag though!

  3. James Koppang
    February 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    As your President, I am requesting as tax, the 4.5 lb bag of gummy bears. yes a very efficient government indeed!

  4. Shauna aguilar
    February 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Yummy, coconut filled m&ms..I will definately like those. I was unaware that the birth of the dark lord was Halloween..wrongo on that one. And being my favorite holiday..it’s not filled with greediness..it’s filled with yumminess and a day to be whoever you want to be. I want BRAINS!!! Very funny about your cats stockings.. I purchased gummy brains last year for all my nieces and nephews, but they were produced in China, so we had to empty them in the trash. Candy from China= no good for you!

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