As I was driving home this weekend from church, I noticed that the large Coca-Cola billboard in the heart of downtown Atlanta has already been transformed to its Happy Holidays motif.: Santa Claus blowing snowflakes across a wintry landscape.
This is ironic in all sorts of ways:
1. It hardly ever snows in Atlanta. Even one inch is enough to cause a massive panic and create eight separate multi-car pileups.
2. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet!
And yes, I hear the voice of Charlie Brown, a la A Charlie Brown Christmas as I think of this--synched nicely in time with that familar jazz piano riff we all associate with the program.
If I were Jesus of Nazareth, I'd be sorely pissed that a holiday meant to commemorate my birth and gift to the world had been transformed to a consumer buy-fest. Somehow I don't understand how giving gifts and vowing to reform your conduct for a brief shining moment redeems a person for being utterly obnoxious the other 11 months of the year.
We ought to live every day like it's Christmas time (And tip like it's Christmas-time, but that's a different subject altogether and I digress). And instead of getting your progeny, friends, or assorted relatives the latest gizmo, why not provide something useful?
Something they can use. Something they will use over and over again, not something they will use for a month until the newness wears off. Garage sales, the Goodwill, and thrift stores are full of such instant gratification gadgets.