Last year at this time I noted in a post that, without some things, it wouldn’t feel like Christmas. I wasn’t referring to the absence of all things merry and bright. I was referring to the not-entirely-Christmasy things you only see between Thanksgiving and New Years; those things that, if you weren’t to see them, you would think the holidays were somehow lacking. Like, going to the bother of putting up Christmas tree, but not decorating it.
TV ads are the best example of the not-exactly-Christmasy jolly holiday feeling. It’s only in December you see commercials for Chia Pets, European chocolate confections, and vacuums. While advertisers declare that a vacuum makes a good gift, it doesn’t actually evoke the holidays, even when placed next to a tree with a big red bow tied to it. It just reminds us that this time of year is messy and someone should clean it up. Namely, you.
Some advertisers don’t even bother coming up with new ads. I guess they figure if we will put up watching reruns of the same holiday specials year after year, we’ll put up with seeing the same ad year after year, like that Campbell Soup ad—the one depicting a snowman going into a house and sitting down to a bowl of Chicken Noodle. Two spoonfuls later, and the snowman melts into a smiling, freckle-faced boy. That kid’s gotta be fifty years old by now.
The people who make White Diamonds perfume are also to blame. Each December for the past 25 years, they roll out the same commercial featuring Elizabeth Taylor. You know the one—where she tosses a giant diamond studded earring to a guy losing a high-stakes poker game with the line, “Here…these always brought me luck.” In an article I found about the ad, it stated, “…after the success [the ad] brought Ms. Taylor, no self-respecting celebrity has been without a perfume endorsement.” More to the point, no self-respecting perfume manufacturer has gone without a TV ad at Christmastime. And, the weirder, the better. Apparently, nothing says “Christmas” more than some nonsensical purple-hazed fantasy trip to catch a falling star whilst wearing a gold lamé gown.
If perfume ads ceased to run each holiday season, I don’t think I’d notice. I take so many genuine pleasures from the season—time with family and friends, decorating my home, participating in special activities only offered once a year—I’m certain I’d be perfectly content that my holidays were complete.
But, I wonder if I’d feel as though something was missing. I wouldn’t be able to put my finger on it until an old Ronco ad for the Vege-o-matic popped up, frantically professing its astounding ability to slice and dice it’s way through to being the perfect gift. Then, I’d know for sure, as the song goes, that Christmastime was definitely here.