Wednesday, November 21, 2007

dollar signs and holiday designs

The holidays are upon us - in full force - especially if you are a marketing guru - no time for Tom Turkey - he got lost in the Halloween Christmas frenzy. Now I am not all that in love with Thanksgiving - per se. Roast turkey and mashed potatoes I can take or leave really. I cannot eat pumpkin pie - although I do like it.

I think Thanksgiving has it merits - it is a good idea to pause and reflect on all the blessing and to show your appreciation for those important in your life. I think living a life that is grounded in thankfulness and thoughtfulness is important. It should be an everyday thing - not a once a year food extravaganza.

I also think - that while dressing up and having a nice Indian and Pilgrim school program - is cute and fun for the little ones - it is a bit disingenuous - I think that it was more than likely a uneasy friendship - the Pilgrims and the Native Americans - more like keep you friends close and your enemies closer.

I also tend to think that Thanksgiving is becoming a lost holiday - it is during the week and it really does cut into the the Christmas insanity. Why wait for the day after Thanksgiving to shop like a maniac - why not the day before for the preview sale or wait the weekend before. Before we know it - it will be the day after Halloween sale.

I think the over commercialization of the holiday season - just takes away from the season - it makes it seem less about friends, families and the togetherness and more about marketing and money.

What does that say about our culture - that the dollar today means more than the traditions of our ancestors? While I find some of David Sedaris's work interesting and for the most part he does not strike a cord with me - but his essay about Christmas in the Netherlands has always resonated with me. The traditions of other cultures rarely make sense to an outside observer. They may seem strange, run counter to the norms you hold true, and sometimes just plan make you go hummmmmm?

What is sticking with me is that in America today - we have so very few traditions left. The melting pot is slowly turning into commercial & PC stew. It makes me gasp - Christmas or any holiday is not about the stuff - but rather the company we keep and the values we pass on to our children.

How do we do that the "season" is about marketing and shopping and not about family and friends and cozy nights by the fire or about helping those who have less than we do?

I am trying not to be Scrooge this year and I want to create a warm and festive mood at home this year - but I still cannot fathom - why the holiday season - started the day after Halloween.

What will be coming next - a jack-o-lantern with a Santa hat - please someone save us from ourselves!

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