Saturday, July 8, 2017

"Christmas In July - Christmas In December Is Right Around The Corner"

Many merchants are using or planning a "Christmas In July" event or promotion. While not exactly the mid-point until December 25th - that would have been June 25th - July is a midpoint of the summer.  Christmas in July as a festival time sounds like good fit, but it won't be that long until the actual Christmas Day - December 25th - rolls around for real. Wasn't it just here a few weeks ago?

It's not actually the December date that is the target for beginning retail promotions and attempting to put people in the holiday spirit. It almost coincides with back-to-school for retailers. Merchants put out their Halloween merchandise and candy at the tail end of back-to-school items, and some push Christmas merchandise right on top of this. Certainly by the beginning of October there are obvious signs of being in the Christmas mode for many retailers. See when you detect the first sounds of holiday music. Last year it was the third week of October (10 days before Halloween).

As people begin planning their holiday displays - Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other days they might celebrate, and not to mention televised football and basketball games that draw a local crowd to their homes - they are remembering back to last season and the promises they made to themselves (and their families) to get certain things done before next year's holiday season. That is only a little over 90 days away to the beginning of it. They are running out of time to get things done without even realizing it.


Visitability, accessibility, repairs, painting, redecorating, weather-proofing, heating, and other concerns are topping the wish lists of many households, and we can help them.

Having a houseful of guests from the neighborhood or the community can be a real challenge when there is not enough seating or people are having challenges using the bathroom or helping out in the kitchen. Maybe the hallway isn't wide enough, there are parts of the home that aren't heated as well as others, lighting isn't good in some areas, there are some tricky flooring areas, some of the shelves in the kitchen are too high to be useful, there isn't enough storage space, and the list goes on.

When visiting relatives are present, the same challenges likely are there, but there are additional ones that come with sleeping arrangements, bedding, showering and bathing, and other safety, comfort, and hygiene concerns that are only encountered by overnight or longer-term guests.

These concerns are likely to be present in most any home, so it is not surprising that someone could have made this observation and commitment last season to not let another year-end holiday time come without having done something about it. The time to act is now.

Whether there are no particular urgent medical concerns that need to be addressed in a design, or there are various mobility, sensory, cognitive or other issues present in the home (all the time or with visitors), the time to begin planning for such renovations is now. Waiting much longer will find a tight time schedule to try to squeeze all of the work into, others are going to have the same idea and will be vying for limited contractor resources, the weather will become a factor, and people will want their home intact long before the holidays arrive. 

With all of the regular remodeling projects that we are called to do, this focus on getting homes ready for the winter holidays and entertaining of friends, neighbors, and visiting family is something that we need to factor into the mix and begin scheduling as soon as we can. We will only be able to get to a few homes that need our help, so let;s make as big of an impact as we can. 

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Master Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.