With Halloween over, thanksgiving an apparent afterthought and fourth-quarter profits on the line, companies have long ago officially started the countdown to Christmas, Chanukah and—for those of you who find Mother Jones magazine to be just right of The Weekly Standard—Winter Solstice. But what as American consumers can we do to ensure that both Baby Jesus and Best Buy executives have beatific smiles come December 25th, especially in this particular dismal economic climate? Why, with the following...
The Make-Corporate-America-Happy Holiday Checklist
Nov. 16-22: Buy video game versions of every single movie that came out this year, even if it means surprising your child with The Love Guru: The Adventure Begins for their PSP.
Nov. 23-29: Purchase special "limited edition" holiday-theme versions of Starbucks Coffee, M&M's and the BMW 7 Series for Neiman Marcus.
Nov. 30-Dec. 6: Load up on toys based on Nickelodeon, Noggin and PBSKids characters that—thanks to your child's excessive viewing habits—you're now more familiar with than most historical figures or relatives.
Dec. 7-13: Drive from mall to mall to mall, asking questions like "Is the 'Yu-Gi-Oh Evolution Starter Deck: Yugi' compatible with the 'Exodia,' 'Gravekeeper's' and 'Ritual Monster' decks?" with a completely straight face.
Dec. 14-20: Let last-minute panic dictate purchase decisions. Toss whatever is on the shelf into your cart, even if no one in your family specifically requested a 12-count of D-handle routers.
Dec. 21-25: Hang in there to the very end. Be the person store security has to forcibly evict from "housewares" because it's 12 A.M. Christmas morning and your family reported you missing 12 days ago.