Let me put it to you straight. I love the Southern Christmas Show and have been every year for, well, I’ve lost track. For me? It’s the start of the Christmas season. While we don’t put our tree up until the day after Thanksgiving, I start listening to Christmas music from the day I go to the show. It rev’s me up and puts pep in my step. Seriously? I love it. I love the crowds, the nutty women in Christmas sweaters that get more insane each season and the general feeling of cheer and joy. The kids sitting on Santa’s lap. Heck, I get my picture taken with Santa. (Not this year, over 100 people were in line!). I will go every year, even if I don’t live in the Charlotte area. The show means that much to me and takes away any previous grinchy-ness I might have been feeling.
My girlfriend Katie went with me this year. It was a treat, as she had never been to the show. She was a little awestruck as she thought it would be a tiny little room. She guessed wrong. When she saw three pavilions filled to the brim, I think she needed a seat to catch her breath.
The comments below do no reflect my opinion on Southern Shows, nor the Southern Christmas Show. It’s merely my take on the actual economics of the show and from my direct discussion with vendors and observations.
Time flies when you having…something. However, as I am following up on my post from the Southern Christmas Show last year, I’ve felt disheartened and have kept this in draft for a long time–2 months. That’s eon’s in blogger years. It was going to be a glorious escapade of photographs and cutesy comments. Yet, I could never click publish. So, it’s time to discuss it.
Attending the Southern Christmas Show is a time-honored tradition for many people, myself included. However, it seems to have lost it’s luster on some. No, not the general public, but the vendors. I took time to talk to many of them and while their names now slip past me, it was the same thing over and over. Sales are down. They hoped they would break even on their show sales to cover the cost of their booth rental. Coming to the show meant a huge financial loss for some, yet they took it to keep their reputation in check and not lose out on seeing the familiar faces year after year. Not every vendor had these issues. Some were doing a booming business. However, for many, it was the same story, over and over.
“We are just hoping people will remember us later in the year when purchasing.”
Now, a lot of vendors have priced themselves out at an exorbitant rate for their goods. I didn’t ask why, but having a good pulse on merchandise and keep a tab on many sectors of the retail field; knew they were trying to break even or hope the Christmas spirit would make everyone’s wallets open a little easier. There was also a lot of overkill as it seemed a lot of people were selling the exact same items. Not a lot of the handmade vendors were doing it, but the more commercialized ones. Some looked like they had ordered the entire Oriental Trading catalog and marked it up by 2000%.
I realize that until we do see a small semblance of economic stability things are going to be this way. In fact, they will be this way long after as retailers, small and large, try to boost profits and regain their bottom ground. Mark-ups are necessary to succeed. However, at what point do we see stability begin, and spending trend? Only time will tell. I’m just hoping that once again, they got their Christmas wish.
I can tell you this much, I’ll be there again next year, supporting the vendors and people that make the Southern Christmas Show the success it is every year. My hat is off to them.