Santa Claus is coming to town, really. Recent studies say holiday online spending is up 12 percent over last year. Retail sales for this November were up almost one percent compared to 2009 preceded by four straight months of increases. This is good news as retailers pump discounts and markdowns to drive holiday revenues in a sluggish economy.
It’s probably hard to fathom that the country officially has been out of The Great Recession since June 2009. Even though retailers seem to be doing better, a stroll down most main streets show a more realistic picture with empty storefronts as many businesses have gone belly-up.
Buying gifts however seem to overshadow the true meaning of the holiday, evermore perpetuating the dichotomy each season brings. Nevertheless, airwaves are flooded with ads for high-tech gadgets and the hottest toys for kids.
Although cash registers are ringing, unemployment is still high and even close to depression-era levels in some states. This certainly puts a damper and a cold stamp of reality on this year’s holiday season.
So, where’s Santa? Apparently he’s in Fort Meyers, Florida. A six-year-old girl got her Christmas wish answered after she sent a heartfelt letter to Santa Claus, with a little help from the U.S. Postal Service. Her letter to the North Pole said she was afraid of waking up on Christmas morning without any presents to open. Like many families today, her folks have fallen on hard times. Employees at the local Page Field post office rallied and are doing everything they can to help the southwest Florida family from buying pillows to putting gas in their car
This is good news and reaffirms the fact that the holidays bring out the best in people. Hopefully this Fort Meyers family will have a very merry Christmas. What’s even better is that there are thousands of stories like this across the country of people helping each other in these tough economic times. This one just happened to be the result of a letter to the North Pole. Good thing Santa is on the job.