Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm offended

Brace yourselves for this one...

Yes, that's right. I'm offended.

I'm offended by the use of Christmas in advertising campaigns. My mother just emailed me a this article about the efforts made to force stores to use "Christmas" in their advertising.

Now take a step back and look at this picture. Now answer two questions for me:

  1. What is a store like Target all about?
  2. What is Christmas all about?

Answers that I hope you give:

1. Target et al. are about commercialism and materialism. (I won't say capitalism because that's a loaded word and I don't want to deal with the virtues or vices of economics at the moment.) Now, on a more subtle level there Target el al. encourage child labor and other social injustices (which may or may not be tied to capitalism). Products sold encourage the vanity, corporealism, consumerism, waste, greed, pride, etc (I could go on all night) that plague American society.

2. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. It is one of the most important feasts of the year.

Now, I'm not going to bother typing out what Christ is all about. I am pretty sure my fine readers know.

So, I see a huge conflict here between Target et al. and the religious nature of Christmas.

This being noted, do we really want these stores to link themselves with the Blessed day of Christmas through their advertising?? Personally, I am bombarded with advertising everyday. Some of it is scandalous (as I look at the ad for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on my email page) and Christmas should not be linked with it!! I do not want to see that ad claiming "Watch Victoria's Secret's CHRISTMAS fashion show tonight!!!" with these mostly naked women. Would Our Lord want to see that? Does He want that connected to Him? I think not.

Now are Target ads that bad? Well not really, but I don't want them USING the birth of CHRIST as a MANIPULATIVE TOOL to SELL MORE.

Stuff like this:

Teach your 5 year old daughter to be a Brat, use misspelled and mutilated words and dress like a ***** all at the same time!!!!


Disclaimer: I would however like to note that this is a different issue than greeting each other (people on the street, cashiers to customers, etc) with Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Happy Hanukkah, or Happy Solstice, or Happy Snowboots and Ski Poles Day. That's a different can of worms.


Claire said...

Interesting perspective. On the whole, much more well-thought-out than the self-righteous indignation of the article you linked to.

Also, it's not often that you get to use the word "corporealism" in a blog post. :)

Claire said...

And ohmygosh I hate those Bratz dolls SO MUCH.

Ma Beck said...

Can you imagine our parents actually BUYING us a doll called a Brat?
As if.
Oh, and off-topic, Mary Liz, I saw this and thought of you.

Clark B. said...

I got the same email from yo momma and had (almost) the same reaction.

Although I am not with you entirely - perhaps a recognition that it is indeed Christ who ought to be at the center of all this hooplah will make us mindful that it is all indeed hooplah. A recognition that Christ is the center and all of this peripheral stuff is well, peripheral.

I think it depends on the quality of ad. I remember that JC Penny (which was founded based on the teachings of Christ to begin with) had an ad during our tape of Rudolph that genuinely wished me a Merry Christmas. They didn't show me any products, they didn't try to sell me anything. Just a 10 second spot saying "Merry Christmas, from JC Penny" or something like that.

That is something that could be useful. Is it marketing? Of course, but I don't think it is manipulative or blasphemous in the least. Target is certainly allowed in my book to wish me a merry Christmas (I will be there Christmas Eve shopping for last minute gifts anyway).

Now, as for Bratz Dolls, there is no excuse. If I were a parent today I would probably just try to stick to Legos and Slinkys and other harmlessly wonderful things... in fact now I kinda want some legos and a slinky for myself.

Jody said...

Just buzzing around the net and found your blog. Good point about Christmas and commercialism.

Caitlyn said...

I still don't know how I feel about the whole idea of stores banning Christmas. It's annoying because their intention is saying "Christ is offensive to people" but at the same time I agree with you, this commercialized Christmas is offensive to Christians. So I suppose I don't much know where I stand. I'll figure that out this Christmas break.

As for you dearie: God bless and have a wonderful break and a very blessed Advent and Christmas. I will see you in January!!!

pax et bonum