Christmas Season Stuff

Three Reasons Why The 2013 Crazy Christmas Shopping Season Has Been Rough

Picture1v c xc Christmas 2013

What a Christmas season it has been for the retailers.  Many retailers are seeing struggling sales.  Some stores have stayed open for 24 hours straight to attract customers.  And Target is trying to clean up a massive hacking.  The geeks/nerds in us can see why the retailers are having a bad Christmas.  One, people are struggling!  Lots of people (like me) are still unemployed.  For the ones who have jobs, some people can not even make ends meet with that one job.  I see the need for the minimum wage to be increased, it needs to happen!  $7.25 an hour is not enough in today’s world.

Many people are calling for a raise of the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.  That is a wage where people could live.  I have lived on a wage like that while working some jobs.  And I could pay the rent and bills with some left over.  For the ones who say a minimum wage increase will hurt businesses.  You know the people who work at McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and other places are on food stamps, WIC, and other government assistance.  Should we take those safety nets away while not raising the minimum wage, it’s going to cause riots.

Two, more and more people are starting to see the true meaning of the Christmas season, and it’s not buying things.  Christmas is a time to be with family and friends, celebrate the year, be happy, and get together.  Not being trampled, sitting in traffic, dealing with the crowds, and buying things that are made overseas.  No, I am not saying that we should abandon Christmas presents.  But I believe we need to focus more on family and God, and not on Christmas presents.

Do you remember what Christmas is all about?  It’s about the birth of Jesus Christ, not who is going to get the best Christmas gift.  It seems like we are forgetting the true meaning of Christmas.  Families gather to unwrap Christmas presents on Christmas Morning, then many people will turn on the TV to watch a marathon or NBA basketball on ESPN.  Christmas should be the one day where everything is closed!  Including those Waffle Houses.  It should be a day spent with loved ones, not working.

And three, people’s identity is easier to be stolen.  You see what happened with Target.  40 million shoppers had their credit/debit card numbers stolen and new cards with those numbers are being issued in the black market.  Anyone who shopped at Target between November 27th to December 15th has been affected.  Right in the middle of the busy shopping season.  Target tried to please its customers by giving everyone 10% off last weekend, but many people are still angry at Target.

Here is something I don’t understand.  Why has North America not upgraded their credit/debit cards to smart card technology?  Most of the world has upgraded to smart card technology where a computer chip is embedded in the plastic to make the transactions more secure and harder to be hacked.  Switching to smart cards would make counterfeit cards made by crooks a thing of the past.  Sadly, the US has not made the switch yet because the banks and retailers say making the switch would be too expensive.

Seriously, the banks and retailers would rather spend money cleaning up a crook’s spending spree instead of making cards and transactions safer?  Meanwhile, people who were effected by this breach are dealing with strict spending limits, cancelled cards which are leaving people with little money and bounced bills with extra fees, and more headaches.  The next wave for paying for things is called the digital wallet, which would allow shoppers to make purchases by waving smartphones instead of cards.  I wonder how safe that is going to be?  Soon, we will all be required to own smartphones just to make purchases, the future predicted on The Jetsons was right!

This Christmas season has been crazy from identities being stolen, crazy weather, sad stories, and more.  I hope during the next Christmas season, we will see more people see the true meaning of Christmas.  But I am afraid we will see those retailers earning more green paper.  Christmas is becoming more about the materials rather than the true meaning, and it’s sad.