HE SAID: Holiday Commercials

November 15, 2009

*Editor’s Note: While it can be tough being a lonely Jew on Christmas, this post has nothing to do with that.  I am not bitter Hebrew.  I have been lucky enough to experience both (C)Hanukah and Christmas the past few years, and enjoy both.

I had trouble titling this post.  Why? Because for some reason I thought “Will TV stations please stop airing effing holiday commercials two months out” was a tad too long and verbose.  Seriously though, I saw the first holiday themed commercial about 10 days before Halloween.  Oh, and by “holiday” I think we all know I mean “Christmas.”  Lets face it, the Jews aren’t exactly shoving Hanukah Harry themed items down our collective throats.  This first commercial was a gospel themed CD.  I found it odd that it was airing up in the Vermont area – the advertisements probably aren’t reaching the targeted audience.  Stoned white college tree huggers are probably not jumping to their phones to purchase the CD.

Here’s the thing about all this over-advertisement: while it’s true Americans are generally dumb (see election 2004), we are not so dumb that we need to be reminded that Christmas is on the way and all the stores of lots of really really good sales (I wrote that sentence a bit dumbed down to emphasize my point).  We are all all to aware of what Best Buys, Targets and shopping malls in general will be like for the next six weeks, we do not need it rammed in our faces through all forms of media.

Not only do we need to deal with excessive advertising, we need to deal with excessively cheesy advertising.  Take a gander at this, then this, and finally this one.  Ok, so that last one wasn’t cheesy, but it brings me to my next point – at one point Tyra Banks was incredibly attractive.

What about the first two commercials help advertise their products? Are they trying to tell me if I do my house decorations at Lowe’s and grab my tree (or menorah) there that my daughter will surpise me with a visit? I would hope that in the future my kids will show a little gratitude for all that I end up doing for them, such as putting them college.  Or I should say, they should show some gratitude to my wife for putting them through college and me for being Mr. Mom.

You want a good Christmas commercial, check this retro stuff out – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7kxPYzigCQ.  I have to cut this short because I want to crush some Oreo’s and skim milk.


SHE SAID: Holiday Commercials

November 15, 2009

294709-main_FullHoliday Commercials stink.  I concur.

But it’s kind of a given.  Even more so given the current economical state.  Everyone and their mother is trying to sell sell sell and get in the black between the traditional consumer mad dash from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve (although apparently that margin is now ten days before Halloween and Christmas Eve).  It’s a tiny time frame, I would imagine these people are under a ton of pressure, and the result is ads that are all too frequent airing too early in the year.

Toys, home goods, big box stores, oh my.

Recently, I feel like the amount of jewelry ads airing mid November astounding.  The forced, vomit-inducing cheesiness that runs rampantly on these ads is insulting to everyone, from the actors to the unsuspecting viewers.  If someone ever actually used the phrase “he went to Jared” to announce an engagement … if that’s the best they can come up with, that’s depressing. Although Kay, while normally anger inducing with the “every kiss begins with k” catchphrase, managed to come up with this one, which makes me laugh almost every time I see it.  I’m still waiting to see DeBeers moment of cripplingly forced, generic, gender stereo-typing, lame excuse for a romantic moment this season, but I have no doubt it will make me change the channel when I do.

Why does my mom expect all five of her grown children to be sitting in the living room come Christmas morning?  Thanks Lowes.

But I’m getting into entirely different territory here.

I have recently come to the conclusion that the ads I like are the low budget local ones that I catch every once in a blue moon when the urge to watch a back to back of the Wheel and Jeopardy strikes me.  They are way more entertaining and genuine than anything else out there, especially the dreaded holiday ads.

SHE SAID: Birthdays

August 28, 2009

I think my main issue with birthdays is that I peaked at eight.  My parents filled an entire car with balloons, they surprised me with a ridiculous amount of presents AND I got my first cabbage patch doll (remember the years where parents were waiting in lines days long to get those and starting full on fist fights over them!?  This was in that time period).  Add onto that cake, ice cream, the fact that we spent my late summer birthday on vacation at the beach, and it’s hard to fulfill that expectation year after year.

So, after a few years of getting really excited for my birthday and having it fall short, I stopped building it up.  Even though a very small part of me when I wake up on my birthday still expects the entire world to stop business as usual, people to sing to me constantly throughout the day, fireworks to follow me, flowers to bloom when I walk by, dancing extras, work to be canceled, the sun to shine, birds chirping, cars full of balloons … you get the idea.

In addition to not letting myself down, I don’t want those around me to feel like they have to do something for me if it’s not just something that happens.  I’ve gotten too many gifts that were “oh shit, I have to get something for her birthday” gifts and I know it’s a pain to go shopping under pressure thinking you have to find something.  And it’s never that exciting to receive something knowing it was bought so a gift would be present (haha, pun intended), not because it was something that struck someone as something you would just love.  Presence is so much better than presents.

I hope I never turn into one of those people who dreads their birthday.  Because if nothing else, I’m all for having a good reason to share a beer with a friend, to get together with friends and family, to wake up with a smile on your face in the morning, or to have cake and ice cream.  And it’s kind of fun to be secretly expecting all the people around you to spontaneously burst into song all day.

As far as where I thought I would be, since Jeremy is clearly tweaking about this a little, no.  No, I am not where my eight year old self thought I would be.  At all.  So far from it.  And in a lot of ways, thank God.  I’m not where my eight year old self thought I would be, or my eighteen year old self, or my twenty eight year old self.  I think at eight I would have expected a Barbie-type existence.  At eighteen, I believe my younger brother and I promised each other we would help each other not make it to the staggeringly old age of forty.  At twenty eight, I was just dreading 30.

I like to think some wisdom has jumped on board over the years.  I have made some friends who make me speechless when trying to express what their love and laughter mean to me – suffice to say that I cannot imagine my life without them.  I have some funny stories.  Some embarrassing ones that aren’t far enough in the past for me to laugh at.  I have some good scars.  I have learned a lot from the many people I have been lucky enough to encounter.  I have enjoyed much and experienced much and when it comes down to it, I wouldn’t change a thing.  And most of it, I wouldn’t have predicted.  Nor was I expecting to have one of my best birthdays at 31.  And I didn’t even get a Cabbage Patch Doll.