• December 18, 2014

Christmas commercials: Bah Humbug!

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Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013 4:30 am

It’s that time of year again, and I’m already exhausted. The holiday season has come around, and I already want it to go away.

I’m not entirely averse to the idea of Christmas, but I’m dubious at best about the way I’m told I need to celebrate it. I prefer a quiet holiday with my family, with excellent food being the necessity and the gifts being optional.

Christmas in my house is a colorful, but a quiet affair. We have a tree, lights, ornaments, and more decorations than you can shake a red-and-white-striped stick at. But we’re not the family who has lawn displays or pageantry. If you were to turn on the television, any television, you’d think we were doing it wrong.

I tried an experiment: I sat down and turned on the TV. I held up my bare fists in front of my mother, boxing-style, and told her I’d raise a finger for every advertisement we saw that mentioned the holiday season in anyway. She and I both ran out of fingers and toes during a single episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Everything from candy to household appliances to vacation packages were being sold under a “Get ready for Christmas” banner -product after product, all advertising themselves as that perfect Christmas gift. It held all the Yuletide appeal of a stomach virus.

I’m aware that complaining about the commercialization of Christmas has become so passé that no one does it anymore. But if this season really is about family, love, and demonstrations of human kindness, then call me numb because I’m not feeling it. Every time I turn on my computer, turn on my TV, or even turn my head, I’m assaulted with reminders that several corporations are desperate to raise their fourth quarter profits.

It has become fashionable now to complain about the “War on Christmas.” That’s especially ironic if you consider the current holiday has about as much to do with the person whose name it bears as I do with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; my nose has looked a little cherry-colored in the cold, but the similarity ends there.

What does it matter whether someone says “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” or “Happy Holidays?” Whatever else it is, at least it’s a gesture of goodwill that doesn’t come wrapped up in a big glowing advertisement. Nowadays, I don’t say any of those things. I say, “Good luck!”

Herald correspondent Rachel Kaser lives in Killeen.

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