Seriously. How is Thanksgiving already this week?
And of course, then there’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Then Hanukkah is a week and a half later, and not long after that is Christmas. And then before we know it, it’ll be New Year’s Eve.
Holy crap, the year is almost over.
But on a happier note (I think), the holiday season is now officially here.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or something else (Festivus, anyone?), it’s likely you’re going to be buying and receiving lots of gifts over the course of the next month.
I’ve been saving up to buy all kinds of things for my niece and nephews.
Yes, I have a list of things I want too, but it’s not exactly the kind of things you might expect. Here’s what’s on my Holiday 2012 Wish List …
1. Respect for my email inbox
Last year, during the fourth quarter, marketers sent an average of 21% more email than they did in 2010. And on Cyber Monday, 88% of the major retail brands sent emails. I’m expecting even more marketing messages in my inbox this holiday season than I got last year. That’s fine. After all, I did sign up for these mailing lists. And I used to work for an email marketing company, so I certainly get it, and I know it works.
But I’d like one of two things to happen — if not both. First, for marketers to be a little more respectful of my inbox, like Zappos is every year when they send an email alerting me about their increased frequency during the holiday season. Yes, it’s a bit excessive to send three marketing messages a week instead of one, but I don’t mind as much because Zappos sends that heads-up message, acknowledging that this frequency is above and beyond what I’m used to, and letting me unsubscribe if I wish.
The other thing I’d welcome is email messages that are worth opening. Like, don’t send me information about a sale and then keep sending me reminders that time’s running out to take advantage of the lower prices. Or, don’t send me “special offers” that are the same discounts you’re offering to any old customer. I welcome discounts and stuff like that, but everyone’s sending me the same coupons. Everyone. Seriously. Send me something different and/or extra. Make it worth it for me if I’m going to stay on your mailing list this season.
Of course, even better might be not increasing your email frequency, and instead, using Facebook or Twitter to communicate with me. But that may be asking for too much.
2. Smarter marketing
For example, the Gap often sends me direct mail pieces that are marked “For our best cardmembers.” Do you know when the last time I used my Gap credit card was? At least a year ago, probably more. Gap should follow the lead of its sister brand, Old Navy, which sends me direct mail pieces with offers that are labeled “Cardholder perks.”
Other businesses should stop telling me that something is the best offer I’ll get from them this season, when I know I’ll get the pretty much same thing from them a week or two later. Or that something is an exclusive offer when it’s also being offered in the stores.
Better, smarter messaging that doesn’t insult my intelligence will make me more likely to buy from you.
3. More businesses that remember Hanukkah
I like Christmas just as much as the next person (actually, maybe more), but officially, I celebrate Hanukkah. And I know I’m not alone.
I’d love more businesses to remember that — especially during the week of Hanukkah (FYI: The holiday starts the night of December 8). The more they all talk about “Great gifts for Christmas!” or wish me “Merry Christmas,” or only use a red and white or red and green color scheme, the less interested I am in doing business with them.
Why can’t there be some email messages and TV commercials that are blue and white? And that talk about lights or candles or eight nights instead of traditional Christmas-leaning words like joy, merry, 12 days, and tree?
To be clear, I’m not saying get rid of Christmas messages. I’m just asking for businesses to be considerate of those of us who don’t celebrate that holiday, and to use some messaging that’s more inclusive.
4. New holiday music
All these years later, I still love Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” And I really don’t mind that Kiss 108 will be playing it all the time for the next month. But I’d really like a new holiday classic.
I’m not talking about another remake of an existing classic (though, kudos go to fun. for their version of “Sleigh Ride”). I’m talking about a new original song that can be played just as often as Mariah Carey’s song is. The kind of song that would fit right in if I was making another Very Marty Xmas mix this year (I’m not).
Bonus points if it’s a Hanukkah song. I mean, we all love Adam Sandler, but come on … “The Hanukkah Song” — parts 1, 2, and 3 — is so tired now. Speaking of which, why haven’t the LeeVees put out something new since Hanukkah Rocks came out in 2005? Get on that, guys.
5. Great holiday episodes of TV
In 2006, the holiday episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip blew me away, and not just because of Trombone Shorty’s performance of “Oh Holy Night.” It was classy, well written, inclusive, funny, romantic, and just … perfect. When was the last time you could say all that about a holiday TV episode? And no, I never said that about The O.C.‘s “Chrismukkah” episodes.
Will any TV show this year produce an instant classic like Studio 60 did six years ago? At minimum, I’m hopeful that Happy Endings will. But really, I wish The Newsroom would come back just for one winter episode, because I’m sure Aaron Sorkin would hit it out of the park again.
6. The Dark Knight Rises on DVD
Yes, I do actually want some thing this year.
The Dark Knight Rises is one of my favorite movies of 2012. It’s out on DVD December 4 — just in time for Hanukkah. Please get it for me. And if you want to upgrade my DVD player to a Blu-Ray one so I can watch all the cool bonus features, I wouldn’t object to that.
7. And while I’m at it …
I’d love for the big-screen adaptation of Les Miserables to be good. Yes, really.
What’s on your holiday wish list this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.