Rob Boyce is on to something in an article he posted today. His article was more about retail sales then displays but it was the title of the article "Where are the bright Christmas colors" that really got me thinking, as well as the following passage:
Went to the local Target store last night to see if any new Christmas decorations were in order - have to add or replace some every year.
What I saw were mostly dull dark red and flat dull dark green decorations. There were no bright Christmas red or green anywhere (except the store’s own decorations). Dull and dreary
When I was younger I remember going after thanksgiving dinner down to the Proctors Theater Plaza in Schenectady, NY to see the department store windows, I think it may have been Carl Company. Every year we'd be greeted by new amazing display that had some wonderful Christmas scene portrayed out.
We'd get all excited because we knew the day after Thanksgiving would be the day Santa made his big entrance to the local mall or department store. He'd come zooming in on a snowmobile or ATV depending on how much snow there was or even parachute in (I think they lowered him on a rope from the roof). It was always a grand entrance.
There was a special flashy excitement to Christmas time. As Rob put it, there were bright Christmas colors!
Today much of that flash is gone. Santa just appears in the local malls often weeks before Thanksgiving. There's no big flashy event discussed on all the local news welcoming him to our local communities.
There are no amazing store window displays drawing us down just to look at them. In fact, the retail stores have next to no decorations at all. Many just have bows and ribbons. Don't want to offend anyone with an image that might not match their religious views right?
Christmas has become more about shopping and finding that great deal then about the holiday itself. Maybe that's why we had situations like we say this part Friday.
Kimberly Cribbs, who witnessed the stampede, said shoppers were acting like "savages...When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling 'I've been on line since yesterday morning.' They kept shopping."
When I read that I can see it's clear that it's no longer about Christmas as much as getting the gifts for people. A man lay dying and people were more concerned with getting a deal then caring.
I went out for the first time ever at 4 AM on black Friday this year and even here in NH people were acting like it's more about trying to save a buck or two then about Christmas the holiday. My wife had a woman repeatedly ram her with a shopping cart because the woman wanted the best position possible when the "curtains" were lifted from the sale products. As Karma would have it we saw that same woman pulled over by the police as we left the store.
Maybe people need to slow down a little. Maybe stores should look to improve displays to get people in through the whole Christmas season instead of timed sales that people feel they need to rush to get or they'll lose out on that $40 or $50 savings they may not otherwise get.
This Christmas let's see if we can each take a small step to bringing back Christmas to being a time for caring. Will mom or dad really be that pleased with the new toaster if you literally had to kill someone for it? Or would they appreciate it more if you gave them a smaller gift but also donated a toy to a poor child or gave a gift certificate for a nice meal to a hungry family? I would hope we haven't grown that shallow that it has become all about us and what we give and get from one another.
A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away; While quite unselfish, it grows small. - Eva K. Logue
Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered. - Phyllis Diller
Something to think about!