Regular listeners know that I am not at all a fan of Christmas. I will always believe that this whole gift-giving and going to see the family thing should be held on July 4th because our independence as a country is something we can all celebrate and it's much warmer at that time of year.
My disgust with Christmas this year got a real early start as Verizon decided to ruin Thanksgiving by renaming it "ThanksGETTING" in their pre-Black Friday ad campaign. As if heading to the store to buy things for others on a day that should be spent actually talking with your family members wasn't bad enough--Verizon wanted you to go out on Thanksgiving to buy a bunch of stuff for yourself.
And now Best Buy is killing me with their "Win the Holidays" ad campaign--where mothers are buying the perfect high-priced electronics to put under the tree--making them the only one worthy of their children's love. It's odd that we can no longer celebrate being faster, smarter, more successful or even just-plain luckier than someone else in today's society--but competitive gift-giving is okay. I'm surprised that Best Buy isn't providing free trophies to everyone who purchases certain items--or exceeds a minimum amount of merchandise to prove that they are in fact "Winning the Holidays".
There is one bright spot in the holiday season so far--and that is the ad from Dick's Sporting Goods called "Give the Gifts That Matter". It opens with a boy looking all excited about getting a fire truck for Christmas--which then gets pitched into a box with dozens of other toys and the banner "Some gifts are quickly forgotten". That is compared to a portable basketball hoop that is set up in the driveway and the banner "And some last for a lifetime". Then you have a crying little girl who has broken the arm off of her new doll with the banner "Some gifts will break your heart"--which is compared to a man tying up new running shoes and hitting the streets with the banner "Others break records". That is followed by a shot of a guy sitting on his couch with a video game controller and the words "Some games are meant to be played alone"--compared to a couple that has hiked up a hill to enjoy overlooking some water and the phrase "While others you will want to share" and then a family skiing with "With family and friends". The spot plays out with a family playing football in the yard and a little boy being tucked into bed wearing his Packers jersey--and Dicks holiday slogan "Give the Gifts That Matter".
I'm sorry, Best Buy, but giving the gift of activity, team-building, health and valuable life lessons would really be "winning the holidays".