Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas and all the trimmings, Take 2

It's Christmas vacation here, so yay! Usually I like it better when they're in school, but I also like sleeping in every morning and not having to do homework with Mermaid, so I'm pretty happy they have two weeks + off. Tomorrow is Enthusio's musical he's been in rehearsals for for the past three months, which is a Christmas-themed show, and it should be very cute. And of course we'll go see Santa at some point this week, and maybe do some baking. Just fun, relaxing stuff for the most part. You know, I'm not clinging to the fact that my kids believe in Santa or anything, but I do enjoy the rituals of the season, and I'll probably be kind of bummed when taking them to see the big guy is no longer one of them. Last weekend at a Christmas party, someone told us a great story that was supposedly about a family they knew. It sounds like a joke to me, but anyway:
Child: Mom, tell me the truth. Is there really a Santa?
Mom: No, there isn't.
Child: I didn't think so! Does Dad know?

So Christmas is a week away, and I'm pretty much enjoying the season, as I usually do once I get my shit together and stop trying to make it perfect. I am expecting my family for dinner later this week, and we will spend next weekend at the home of Reasonable Man's family for the big shindig there. Both events should be lots of fun.

One thing that's gotten under my skin more than usual this year is the advertising. True, I haven't seen any commercials with the "Isn't it adorable how this child has this very exact and lengthy list of all the toys he/she wants for Christmas and reads it for you in this snotty little precocious voice?" theme that I detest so very emphatically. Instead, this year there seems to be a preponderance of the "All good husbands buy their wives diamonds for Christmas"-themed ads. I don't mean to say I don't like jewelry, because I do, but a) call me a sap, but I find the implication that diamonds = love to be offensive, and b) at least half the women I know, upon opening a velvet box to reveal diamonds on Christmas morning, would turn to their husbands and say "Are you out of your freaking mind? We can't afford this!"

I also loathe the Walmart commercials with celebrities in them. I don't know anything about Jesse McCartney or his music and I don't care, but the ad where his family is supposed to be enjoying their Christmas day by individually the consumer electronics they got as gifts all seperate from each other around the house while they ignore the crowd of screaming girls outside is asinine -- I don't doubt that the members of some families can't wait to all get away from each other on Christmas, but it seems awfully cynical to be putting that a commercial for Walmart, the store that asks you to believe that senior citizens work there passing out shopping carts because it's so damn fun and not because they need to supplement their Social Security checks. Also -- the members of Destiny's Child and their families all buy each other crap at Walmart and then celebrate Christmas together? Please spare me.

(I hate Walmart and don't shop there anyway, so it doesn't pain me to shred their advertising. I also hate it when Target does the celebrity thing at Christmas, and that does pain me, because I love Target.)

Basically I really hate incredibly cynical, capitalistic advertising that tries to disguise itself as sweet and sentimental. Don't we have enough credit card debt, personal bankruptcy, and families so busy busting their budgets to buy whatever the newest piece of technological garbage on the market is that they don't notice how dysfunctional they are? My son is seven, and other than a very large, expensive set of Harry Potter legos, every single item on his Christmas list involved playing video games. When I gently discouraged him from expecting to find a Gamecube under the tree on Christmas morning, he told me that if I wouldn't get it for him, he'd just ask Santa instead. Good thing I still get veto power over the Santa gifts too.

1 comment:

Audra said...

Hey Tracie! MIA Audra here - now you know I secretly read your blog to see how you are lol!

Anyway, it may be too late, you only have today! But I have a sequel to Sisterhood of the Traveling pants - I saw you liked that book so maybe this would be easy to devour? It's called The Summer of the Sisterhood. Good luck, I hope you make your goal! Love to all!