By Matt Brownell
In America, there are two important calendars: there's the regular, Gregorian calendar, with its twelve months and 365 days. And then there's the retail calendar -- the schedule of how and when we are supposed to spend.
The retail calendar is a little less predictable than the Gregorian one. Some of its dates -- like Christmas, Black Friday, and Valentine's Day -- are absolutes. They signify major shopping events and big cultural occasions, when people exchange gifts, shoppers stay up all night, and roses double in price.