The trick is to start early. While everyone gears up for special offers this holiday season, you should be thinking about next holiday season.

Just think about your competition, emailing customers, spending millions on advertising, and doing just about anything they can do to get customers in the door or on the site to buy hundreds of thousands of holiday gifts. Think about how jealous they’ll be when you sweep in with your 2012 Christmas sale in October 2011. You’re planning ahead.

Ask your website visitors to sign up to receive special announcements about the hottest product releases over the next year. Tell them to add items to their 2012 Holiday Wish List using your super-powered one click list generator. If it’s a sale they want, they only have to wait another year. It’s getting closer by the minute.

Okay, okay, you got me. This is the worst idea ever. But I can imagine a conference room in some company, somewhere in the United States right now where they are discussing something very similar.

We’ve taken seasonal messaging and marketing as far as it can go, and then taken it further. When I start getting emails about Christmas savings in September, it’s too soon. When I start seeing commercials proclaiming back to school specials in June, it’s too soon.

If you base the success of your entire year around a few calendar events, you are in trouble.