The Theme of It All
We had a cold front here in Houston, Texas, so I might as well write this blog post before it’s 80 degrees again and I can’t sensibly wear this wool sweater anymore. Theming.
The term theming exists as a component in other marketing strategies and means something different, but for all intents and purposes, we are going to define theming as any item, event or activity that stems from or relates to a holiday or observance. Think of the hot dogs and burgers that taste like freedom at your 4th of July party or the red gingham pajama sets purchased for the whole family to wear on Christmas morning. Christmas, and the holiday season as a whole, is such a powerful marketing tool that explores all product categories and reaches people who may not celebrate the holiday as fervently as others.
Theming for Christmas may look like the lights you buy to decorate the inside and outside of your home, that holiday throw pillow and matching blanket, and décor that makes you feel like you are in a wooden cabin surrounded by snowy mountaintops and elk frolicking freely. And we can’t forget the flights, hotel stays, restaurant reservations and a show that add to the Christmas experience. Don’t get me started on themed gift wrapping paper. Watch our TikTok about holiday marketing here.
The never-ending list of goods really complement the Christmas experience for shoppers. Not to be confused with complementary goods, which we will explore, along with various marketing and business terms, in the new year.
This year we’ve discussed intentional shopping and an intentional use of our money in blog posts like “When Overconsumption Overpowers Gratitude” and “Conglomerates & Discounts.” Most American families will start saving for Christmas or holiday spending months before the holiday season. It’s great that people make a line in their budget for planned expenses related to the holiday. Even then, Americans, and people around the world, are known to enter into debt or dive further into debt for the sake of said Christmas experience.
Even my family has slipped into the theming of it all. We do not celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense where you are probably picturing a 13-foot tree whimsically lit and placed in our living room, gifts sprawled around the place. No, that has not been our experience. We never bought into (see what I did there) the need to buy gifts just because it is someone else’s tradition. And yet, a nutcracker of a doctor and one of a nurse somehow made it into our home as a little gag gift to our siblings who came back home for a few weeks this month and are, you guessed it, a doctor and a nurse.
All to say, theming makes sense. I get it; that hot chocolate really seems to taste better in a holiday mug while you are wearing matching holiday pajama sets with your family, sitting by a fragrant Christmas tree. I am not here to take away from the beauty in family time and a family tradition. I am simply your reminder to be aware of the marketing powers that be and how they may impact your finances, and ultimately, your family, in ways you may not expect. Merry Christmas! My parents are directly from Central America, where Christmas is celebrated on December 24th, so from my family to yours, ¡Feliz Navidad!