Tis The Season to Be Materialistic

by admin on December 10, 2015

in Tyler Businesses

Tis the season for base appeals to human greed and entitlement. All around us advertisers attempt to place a price value on our memories and affections. There’s a memorable line where the fictional character Michael Scott, claims that Christmas is the time of year where we can actually place a monetary value on love. “I love you this many dollars, worth.”

Among the most notorious is Kay Jewelers. And it pains me to admit to the effectiveness of their seasonal ads. Even now I am certain that my readers are lightly humming “every kiss begins with Kay…” (at least you are now right)? Every year we’re treated to the likes of Dr. Quinn Medicine woman pedaling her tacky jewelry and advising us to “always keep an open heart;” advice which is far, far too non-specific by the way. An open heart to what exactly… greed, manufactured nostalgia, love in a box?… (I could have gotten a lot darker but I’ll refrain). I mean what could be more meaningful than a pendant necklace that only you, and million other customers possess? Doesn’t that make you feel a part of something larger than yourself? Oh wait no, church is supposed to do that, well church, faith, the baby Jesus… all that really meaningful stuff. For my part, if I gave the “Open Hearts collection,” to my wife as a Christmas gift I’d end up sleeping under the Christmas Tree. This gift is simply thoughtlessness in disguise using money as a costume. Just because a gift is expensive, doesn’t make it a good gift. Box jewelry is simply a white elephant gift for the wealthy.

And then there’s the car ads. Yeah like I’m going to buy anyone a new car for Christmas… The commercials must contain a white luxury car complete with big red bow, parked in fake white snow, as a fake family all dressed in white celebrate the gift one member has given to another. I can’t help but wonder if the giver is making all the payments or just the initial one. And what about the taxes? “Oh thanks so much for the car! Now I have the IRS demanding some of the joy I received over the holidays!

I always cringe when I hear people use the cliché “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Not because I think it’s not true, I’m just happen to vehemently oppose any admonition that rhymes. But the truth is this, Advent is about faith, and tradition, and memory. It’s about awaiting salvation. All things that will still be with us when the fake white snow has turned a grungy brown, and we’re making extended payments on gifts we couldn’t afford, and all the open hearts have closed.

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