Christmas Trivia

Why was Frosty the Snowman always a Jolly Happy Soul?
Check what’s in his pipe.
He has come out of hiding now
His eyes made of coal are safe for now.

Why was Rudolph’s Nose always red? 
Whisky with his Reindeer Chow.

What new Christmas song is based on the Election?
Clinton Got Run Over by the Trump Train

Does anyone know what a Bough of Holly is any more?
Or how to Deck the Halls with It?
We still did that when I was a kid, Holly and Evergreen Cuttings.
And wreaths made out of IBM Punch Cards sprayed silver and gold.

What is a Figgy Pudding?
I had to write a friend in London to find out.
Sounds Yummy!

Yet another new Song!
Here Comes Santa Trump!

Merry Christmas!

Psychology of Marketing

Ready for your blood pressure to rise…Here is comes…..   SALE! 
Pavlov proved on certain commands, the dogs would come running!

Did you participate in Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Welcome to Pavlov’s world. You have been conditioned for years by retailers to barely finish digesting your Thanksgiving Meal and then rush out to stores in hope of finding that outstanding bargain. Gotcha!
Did you find what you were looking for or did you end up settling for whatever they had on sale. Or worse yet, did you buy what you wanted at full price, simply to not feel cheated out of the Black Friday Experience.

After Black Friday, the retailers all count the products they have left, and that tells them how many more sales they need to have before Christmas. Then starts the Two Day Super Sale or the Santa Doesn’t Want a Hernia Sale and finally the Last Chance Before Christmas Sale. The world will come to an end if you miss that one! Nobody wants to miss their Last Chance!

The best time to buy is in January, when they have to get rid of all the leftover stock or pay taxes on it. Do NOT go buy right after Christmas. They know all those gift cards and Christmas Money are coming and you won’t get any break now. The day after Christmas is almost as good for retailers as Black Friday.

Pricing is another key to the Psychology of Marketing. Why is everything always $19.95. Because people automatically associate with the first half of a number, not the last half. $19,95 says 19, not $20. Even though with tax, the item will be over $20. The other trick is 20% off sale. You save your sales tax, the retailer writes off the discount and everybody feels like they gained something. What you have to find out is, what was the regular price.  If a retailer normally sold an item for say 19.95 against a suggested retail price of $24.95. Now, with the SALE, they are giving you 20% off the Suggested Retail Price, you aren’t saving a thing. So make sure you know what an item sold for before Christmas.

Here’s my favorite. You have a Credit Card that pays you CASH BACK.  They’re screwing you for 14 – 24 percent on ALL of your purchases but by golly you will get 1% cash back. Pay CASH! You’ll get 14 – 24 percent back. People need to remember an old concept in savings. The Christmas Fund. Save all year and spend it at Christmas. Avoid Credit Card Debt.

Last but not least, here come the Charities. December is their banner month too. Watch out for those Bell Ringers, they can be vicious.
I personally resent being assaulted every time I go to a big box store. But they aren’t alone, every major charity will solicit you and they do sell each other their lists of donors. So if you give to one, you will be solicited by others. I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on that one. It took me weeks to get off of all the lists. If you want to donate, give cash to a local charity. If you chose to give to a National Charity, make sure you tell them NOT to give or sell your information to anyone for any purpose.

You are being manipulated, more than you will ever know. That’s the Psychology of Marketing.

Christmas Music

I grew up in a very musical home. Dad played the Violin, Mom played Piano and Organ, my brother played Trumpet, then piano and organ and I played drums, Saxophone and Baritone when I broke my left pinky. Dad listened to old country, mom listened to easy listening, Boston Pops and Opera, my brother covered the Beatles and other groups from the 50’s to the late 60’s and I finished it off with Rush, Queen, Aerosmith, Kiss and Chicago.

Christmas Music was always big in our home. From the day after Thanksgiving, mom’s multi-record console Stereo was stacked with multiple Christmas Albums. We did everything from “The Mormon Choir,” to “Big Crosby,” to “The Grasshoppers.” If mom was in a really snarky mood or mad at one of us kids, we got a whole afternoon of “Mario Lanza” and “Luciano Pavrotti” always on the loudest setting possible. While both are solid singers, they are murder to two kids stuck in the house.

Fast forward…the decade is the 1980’s, and I was working at the mall, selling all sorts of overpriced electronics for Radio Shack. I was one of two lead salesmen in the store and we had a blast. He’d sell a stereo, I’d sell a stereo, He’d sell a television, I’d sell a television. One of the things we had to sell was a pair of Mach 1 speakers. These things were huge and put out one heck of a sound. The trick was to find the perfect music to demo them. Someone suggested Mannheim Steamroller’s “Christmas Album.” “What’s that?” I said, I had not heard of them. One of the guys had a copy in his car, so he went to get it while we set up the Mach 1’s and our best stereo right by the door, which sat directly across from the food court.

We put in the disc and cranked up the stereo. What came blasting out of the speakers was some of the coolest music I had ever heard. Everyone in the food court stopped talking and some of the people started dancing. Within 10 minutes we had a store full of people and sold 4 stereos with speakers. We also had a visit from The Mall Cops. They demanded we turn the music down and stomped away. We waited till they were about half way down the mall and then cranked it up again. Mall Cops can run. This time they talked to our manager who promptly reminded them that Radio Shack was paying rent on two locations and as soon as we could, we would be setting up a second stereo at the second location too. We turned down the music a little and kept selling

For those of you who are not familiar with Mannheim Steamroller, they have been around a long time now. They have a website you can visit http://www.mannheimsteamroller.com There you can read about the group, see where they will be on tour and have some fun. You can also visit their store. (Note: I have not been compensated in any way for this endorsement.) I found a few selections up on YouTube but they were pretty poor copies. So much for YouTube protecting Copyright.  This is my favorite among their albums. Especially the “Deck The Halls” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” tracks.

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No matter what kind of Christmas Music you like, put some on! It’s already half way to Christmas!

Tis’ the Season

“Black Friday” has come and gone and the whole country is now ramping up into the Christmas Season. You notice I DID NOT say Holiday Season. I am not Politically Correct and I don’t celebrate anything but Christmas and even that I keep to a minimum any more. The family is scattered and many of them have died off. There are no great gatherings at Grandma’s house, so no more going over the Mahoning River or through the woods of Mill Creek Park. Home was a suburb of Youngstown, Ohio and Grandma’s House was on the East Side of Youngstown, just above the valley and the Steel Mills.

I do try to keep traditions alive. I eat some sort of Turkey Dinner, I always watch “The Christmas Story” and “The Home Coming” and if I can help it I never miss watching, “White Christmas.” One the other side, I watch “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty The Snowman” and “It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas.” Linus fixing up that crappy little Christmas Tree brings tears to my eyes year after year.

Music is another major part of Christmas for me. There’s nothing Cooler than Manheim Steamroller’s first Christmas Album. Spin that followed buy some Burl Ives, “Holly Jolly Christmas” and finish out the set with the Grasshoppers singing, “The Christmas Song.” “Christmas, Christmas Time is Here, Time for Joy and Time for Cheer, We’ve been Good but We can’t Last, Hurry Christmas Hurry Fast”…… I like a lot of the Church oriented favorites too, “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night” in both English and German and if I really want to get the blood stirring, I throw on The Mormons singing, “The Hallelujah Chorus” and turn the volume way up! Some of the best music has been produced for Christmas, not Kwanzaa and certainly not Hanukkah. Though I suppose there are some Jewish Favorites available if you are looking for such fare.

Gift Giving is another Holliday Tradition. Like anyone, I get a kick out of getting things and I also like to give things. Do you have someone you don’t know what to give them?  How about a website? Or maybe a customized family picture. A year worth of Genealogy help and research, These are all things available at Doug’s Country. Don’t miss the Store Page! I’ve got a really cool picture of the Space Shuttle there and a very nice John Wayne Print.

Have a Merry Christmas!  For the rest of you, I hope what ever you celebrate turns out nice too!