December 16, 2010

Tis The Season

Well, it's the Christmas season once again. And, let's be honest, retail-shopping-wise, it's been the Christmas season since about the first week of September.

It's actually even worse than that for me, because one of my son's favorite songs is "Up On the Housetop," so it's basically been Christmas in my head since LAST Christmas. It's a horrifying mental Mobius strip of holiday cheer each and every night before bedtime.

This Christmas marks the third holiday season in a row during which we've been living under the burdensome reality that is the Great Recession. It's hard to believe it's been three years since the American public was asked to swallow such ridiculous nonsense as "Too Big To Fail," yet here we are.

You'd be forgiven for not realizing we're still in the Great Recession if you've seen any holiday television advertisements, which seem to exist in an alternative universe where cash thunderstorms and gold flake hurricanes are regular phenomenons, although I'm fully aware such advertisements are in no way a new development.

For example, when I was growing up--in the 1980s, during another recession--I remember seeing holiday advertisements that featured brand new automobiles, adorned with big red bows, parked in driveways or front yards. The scene would then pan to an ecstatic family standing in the doorway, looking out at their new vehicle, while the father looked proudly over his shrieking brood. The father seemed genuinely unconcerned about anything resembling monthly payments, tax, title and license, or repo men.

Fast forward to the modern era, where similar advertisements are still a reality. However, I know this Great Recession is much worse than the recession of my youth, because the advertisements have increased in ridiculousness.

Yes, there are still automobiles bedecked with big red bows, but this year I've noticed they're not bound by the traditional driveways and front yards. No, this year, with unemployment hovering around 10 percent, advertising geniuses have decided brand new vehicles should--defying all rules of common sense and logic--be parked in the living room next to the Christmas tree.

I'll pause for a moment to let that sink in.

That's right. Despite an economic atmosphere in which such an oxymoronic term as "jobless benefits" can actually exist, automobile advertisers want us to believe a brand new vehicle, parked in THE LIVING ROOM, is an ideal gift to shoot for this year.

To be honest, I think I'm mostly upset because I spent a good two hours trying to figure out how I could possibly maneuver a vehicle into my living room, only to conclude I'd require an extremely large catapult and an unrealistically forgiving house insurance plan.

The ideal Christmas season just gets harder and harder to obtain each year.

Posted by Ryan at December 16, 2010 01:49 PM | TrackBack
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