That Damned Staples Ad
So much has been said about the actual ad that I don’t want to beat a dead horse. Obnoxious woman showing obnoxious knitted gifts she gave to (probably) obnoxious relatives who all look really unhappy to get them.
Knitters spend a lot of time (and money) gearing up for the holiday season. They start planning their projects a year in advance and pour much love into them. To many knitters, this ad is tantamount to hearing someone say, “You’re giving a hand knit gift? How can you be so stupid/rude/out of touch?” On the surface this seems like a silly issue.
But it speaks volumes about our changing attitude toward gift giving. Are we really SUCH a mercenary society that we can stomach ads like these that reduce gift giving to a measure of who can give the largest merchandise certificate?
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m sick to death of the JC Penney ads demanding that we stuff our giant SUV so full of purchased items that we can’t fit our kids inside (what a message THAT is!)
Or the Sears ad where a couple shops for each other, but they really end up buying something for themself. As they walk out of the store each tells their partner what they’ll be “giving” themselves for Christmas. Oh for pity’s sake, why not just wait until January and get it on sale? These cynical ads seem to say, “We all KNOW it’s really about the presents (wink, wink) so why not just make the holiday as merry as possible by spending as much as possible?”
I do understand that this year it’s supposed to be patriotic to spend, spend, spend. But let’s be sensible- wouldn’t it be better to build our economy on something more solid than the last month of holiday shopping before Christmas? At its best it’s sad, at its worst this cynicism just plain disgusting – greedy, selfish – all things I try to teach my children NOT to be.
Maybe if we were nicer, more generous, we’d get more from Santa and wouldn’t have to buy so much for ourselves? Maybe (gasp) we’d feel so good about making a gift for a loved one we wouldn’t care if we didn’t get a 2nd DVD player or an SUV full of gifts.
Maybe when we learn it’s not all about US we’ll find some true holiday cheer?