2020 Holiday Shopping Season Arrived Early This Year!

2020 Holiday Shopping Season Arrived Early This Year!

Retailers across the globe are already in the midst of holiday sale events…in October! While it’s not unusual to see a spattering of holiday promotions before Halloween, this year is clearly an outlier. Retailers have kicked off the holiday shopping season earlier than ever for a number of sound reasons.

First, brick-and-mortar stores, wisely seeking to minimize big crowds in the face of a global pandemic, are attempting to smooth out foot traffic. Many have scaled back or altogether eliminated plans for Black Friday doorbuster sales. Instead, they’re striving to spread their in-store sales across more weeks than in years past.

Second, major retailers are feeling pressure to shift into high gear earlier this year for fear of missing out. With millions of Americans out of work due to the Covid-19-induced recession, and predictions that we’ll see fewer and smaller holiday gatherings so less gift-giving, the expectation is that overall holiday shopping and spending will decline this year. So retailers are aggressively competing over what’s expected to be a smaller pie.

Since 2015, Amazon has staged their premier annual sale event – Prime Day – during summer; until this year, that is. In 2020 the world’s largest E-commerce business postponed Prime Day to keep focus on stabilizing supply chains thrown into turmoil when a huge swath of consumers shifted to online shopping almost overnight in conjunction with the Covid-19 outbreak.

Once Amazon announced Prime Day 2020 would occur on October 13-14, major brick-and-mortar retailers advanced their holiday sales events. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, even preempted Amazon, kicking off their “Big Save Event” on the preceding Sunday – October 11. Target elected to go head to head against Amazon by running their Target Deal Days concurrently with Amazon’s Prime Day on October 13 and 14.

There’s a fourth critical reason why retailers are encouraging shoppers to pull the trigger earlier this year – expected product sourcing challenges and shipping bottlenecks. This year more than ever, consumers are focused on exercise gear, gaming consoles, and home-cooking related wares, such as butcher blocks, kitchen work tables and carts, wood cutting boards, kitchen knives and knife blocks.

So when we at the Butcher Block Co. encourage shoppers to lock in their purchases early this year, it’s not due merely to self-interest. Of course, we appreciate the business, but more importantly, we want shoppers to increase their chances of scoring the exact gifts they want and to receive them before Christmas.

As families spend more time at home, especially in their kitchens, people are rediscovering the joy of preparing their own meals. That’s great news, but heightened demand can create downsides. For example, demand for John Boos products has been so through the roof this year that lead times on many Boos top-sellers are running two weeks longer than normal. That’s why this year we are encouraging early holiday shopping. Please place orders for Boos products by November 6. Most of the Butcher Block Co.’s other suppliers carry some product inventory and do not make-to-order, so their Christmas cutoff dates are later in the year.

Celebrating a Virtual Thanksgiving

Celebrating a Virtual Thanksgiving

Without a doubt, this year many of us will experience Thanksgiving celebrations that are outside historical norms. Those of us who typically enjoy a Thanksgiving feast dining solo or in the company of immediate family may not change things up. But those of us who traditionally celebrate the holiday in large gatherings that include extended families and close friends might be well advised to mix things up this year, in light of that ultimate party crasher, Covid-19.

So this time around, it’s wise to plan two events in parallel. First, there’s the in-person meal and the cherished ritual of expressing our thanks for all our blessings. But more than ever before, this year hosts and hostesses should give thought to how to share the feast and festivities with virtual guests – that is, family and friends who will be present in spirit only. A virtual Thanksgiving – by way of photos, a video, a video call or live streaming – can bring everyone together for the holiday.

You’ve been through the drill with respect to preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinner, so you know how important it is to pay attention to such details as menu planning, grocery shopping, preparation, and more preparation. The good news is you still have time to put in place a solid foundation to make Thanksgiving 2020 especially memorable. But keep in mind that demand for kitchen furniture and accessories has never been higher, so don’t put off shopping!

Equip yourself with high-quality, durable and sanitary butcher block work surfaces for all your food preparation. John Boos & Co. is the go-to trusted brand for all things butcher block – counter and island tops, work tables, kitchen carts, and most importantly, carving boards, cutting boards and chopping blocks. Make your holiday meal prep easier and treat yourself to a new butcher block.

As they say, the proof is in the tasting. But “presentation” may be everything! And that brings us back to butcher block – as gorgeous as it is functional. Some of our customers have ordered a new Foundry Collection table for their virtual Thanksgiving gathering. And many folks are tossing their old carving boards and upgrading to a board to last a lifetime. After all, you want the virtual story you share with friends and loved ones to showcase your excellent taste in kitchen tools and accessories, as well as the fruits of your labor.

To avoid kicking yourself later, remember to take pictures and record video during each phase of the process – as you prep and stage food; as you arrange each masterpiece; as your guests admire it and finally dig in; and eventually, as everyone moans about overstuffing themselves. This will help everyone appreciate the effort involved, better understand participants’ relationships, conjure up great memories later, and maybe even stoke appetites at the same time.

And while delicious food and magnificent presentation are at the heart of any Thanksgiving extravaganza, the soul of the holiday is found in our giving of thanks and in cherishing the time we spend with one another.

Homemade Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Erin, our guest blogger over at Food Wise Family, has a healthy cranberry sauce recipe that is sure to be your new holiday favorite!

Whether you are cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family, or you are just bringing a side dish for the upcoming holiday, homemade cranberry sauce is the way to go. Skip the canned stuff and buy some fresh cranberries instead. This dish is perfect for making the day before and grabbing from the fridge just in time for dinner.

Cut Out the Refined Sugar
I can’t have a turkey dinner without cranberry sauce, but when I started eating paleo I wanted a cranberry sauce that wasn’t full of refined sugar. So, I adapted this recipe from my mom’s that she makes every holiday.

To make this cranberry sauce recipe paleo, I removed all the refined sugar and replaced with real maple syrup.

I chose maple syrup because that’s something we always have in the house; however, you can substitute the maple syrup with honey or coconut sugar. If you use coconut sugar, make sure it completely dissolves before adding the cranberries.

Paleo Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 – 3/4 cup of real maple syrup*
1 small piece (about 1 inch in size) of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 cups of fresh cranberries

Instructions
1. In a large saucepan, combine orange juice, orange zest, maple syrup, and ginger. Simmer for about 5 minutes, while stirring often.
2. Bring to a gentle boil on medium heat and stir in cranberries. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and the sauce starts to thicken (about 10 minutes).
3. Let cool and place in a storage container. Refrigerate until serving time.

*Recipe Note: Use 1/2 cup of maple syrup for a more tart cranberry sauce, or use 3/4 cup of maple syrup for a sweeter version. Personally, I enjoy a tart cranberry sauce!

Cranberry Sauce steps

I believe that the food we put on the table should not only be healthy, but easy and full of flavor. Check out my website foodwisefamily.com for more wholesome recipes.

See more of Erin’s recipes on our Butcher Block Co. Blog:

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice

Super Moist Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe

Try Our Recipe For Easy Grilled Sweet Potatoes