Oh the holidays, the holidays. Which holidays you ask? Take your pick. There's about ten of them this time of year. And each one means something different to every person. In the marketing world it's how many play on holiday words can we come up with to make people buy our client's stuff. In the parental world it's, "you want what? And how much is it?" In a child's world it's hopefully just simple magic and promising curiousity. So on and so forth. I, myself, am the person that looks forward to the abundance of food and libations and the extra 7 pounds I get to work off after the new year with the rest of America's resolution makers. But now that I am a mother of a toddler and a partner in a marketing agency I have taken pause to actually think about what do the holidays really mean to me presently.
Well, where to start, how about the day after Halloween, yes, the day AFTER October 31st, when retail stores, radio stations, and every large ad agency in the U.S of A starts in on the holiday jib jab. It's during this period I begin to find myself critiquing every commercial, every billboard, every email, Tweet, FaceBook post, and every piece of direct mail that comes through my line of vision. And in my best bitch voice I say to myself, "FnA would have done better than that," "Who the hell got paid for that ad? Was that supposed to be funny? Hmmmm, 80# cover, no top coat, cheap asses." I mean, come on, I wish I was ignorant as most are when it comes to seeing the bright and pretty of advertising. But as some of you know, once you're in the industry, you're cursed!
Then I turn myself around and I stand in front of my toddler. I have to put on a smile and pretend like everything IS bright and pretty and magical and gooey ooey. It takes some talent to flip a switch like that. Talent I say! This switch is all new for me. I mean, when I was single and didn't have a care in the world but myself, I could give two farts if I celebrated "The Big Guys" birthday. I had celebrations of my own to be concerned about. Outfits I needed to buy. Credit cards I needed to over charge on in the liquor store. December was merely a month of excess and cold.
Now, December means I need to put up a colorful tree, buy presents, and now pretend like there's some fat dude that's gonna come deliver special surprises on the 25th day of the month. How do I do that? I must think back on the days my parents lied to me about the big man in the red fur coat. What memories can I pull from that would help me make my own kid believe in this so called holiday magic? What stories can I tell him to make him actually think someone is out there watching his every crappy behavior and deciding on whether or not to bring him the dump truck he asked for only because he saw a real one at the time the question was asked, "what do you want for Christmas?" "Uhhh uhh a dump truck." Awesome. At least I have something to go on during my holiday shopping spree.
Oh and good hell don't get me started on the holiday shopping experience! I liken it to having Gonorrhea! It is the worst thing EVER! The lack of parking, the ridiculous traffic, the swarms of strangers, the wondering if so-and-so is going to like your gift, did you spend too much or too little, do I have to buy for that person, is that person going to buy for me, why the hell am I buying that for someone other than myself, so on and so on. It's all just too stressful. I have suggested to close friends that we simply get together for a pot luck and enjoy one another's company in lieu of gifts. But then there's that one gotta-outdo-everyone person that feels the need to bring just a little "nothing" for everyone so you end up feeling like crap anyways.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Bah-Humbug. I'm just trying to find the spirit in a holiday full of materialism and stress, in which I contribute to, and somehow convey to my only child how this one small time of the year we should all be joyous and giving. When all you really want is for it to all just pass quickly and quietly with a happy midget in your arms.
So here's to wishing everyone a bright, pretty, magical, gooey ooey, rest of the year. May 2014 ROCK!