I notice that each year, Christmas in the advertising gets worse. In advertising, some of the luxury car makers take selfish behavior to the next level. There is a commercial about a man who has two new cars in the driveway–Christmas gifts for him and his wife.  He walks out to show his wife the extravagant presents and she is happy, but she wants the truck he has bought for himself as her gift and leaves the other car for him.  The couple live in one of those glamorous homes you see on commercials these days–something that looks like a commercial building. I am sure the commercial is supposed to be funny, but I don’t see it myself. Do people really buy cars for Christmas gifts?

Another car commercial is even worse. Santa is delivering gifts under the tree when a boy takes Santa’s picture as he is bending over the presents. The young boy somehow blackmails Santa demanding the old man’s “ride”–a fancy car outside. I suppose the car company imagines that people think this commercial is also funny.

Maybe both commercials are supposed to be annoying, but memorable. Frankly, I think they both cast a little more dirt on the season–and obviously for commercial purposes.

I also see the same old suspect commercials that I have seen in past that in my opinion that promote other nasty slants to Christmas.  More religious carols continue to be used for jingles to sell things.  In the past, advertisers were a lot more sensitive about things like this.  I would have thought that the company would have experienced immediate retribution from consumers.

And if you have been one of those like myself, who dreads the onslaught of  commercials for Christmas, you probably notice it happening earlier and earlier. The sales salvo that is called “Black Friday” is being  made irrelevant by anxious marketors wanting to make their marks before others.  Today, even Black Friday is too late.

At the same time,  from my home office, I hear the delivery trucks buzzing up and down the street as more and more goods are bought online.  I worry about the young kids on the block and I do wonder about just how safe it is out there.

Creating and marketing sports and faith books in this environment is very difficult. Most of the Catholic shops have gone out of business in the past decade. And even the religious distributors are losing their hold and their work is often managed on the side by one of the big non religious distributors who may have bought a religious brand.

 

Once upon a time I worked in a large bookstore downtown, Kroch’s and Brentano’s.  I remember the Christmas “rush” was a lot of work, but you were part of a community celebration of the event. Your days may have been filled with a certain number of crabby people, but life was more communal. People left their homes and traveled to buy the gifts and the effort was more intense. Shoppers tried to get things that people enjoyed but the whole nature of giving was more work. Today, the longer season, the abundant online shopping done with credit and having items shipped from vendors right to those on your gift list makes it all very slick.  Easier is better? Maybe so, I am not sure.