Christmas, Inc.

The gym where I workout at has six or seven flat-screen TV’s set strategically from one end to the other.  A few days prior to the Thanksgiving holiday I noticed, when I was on my way to get some water, a commercial for Rankin/Bass’ “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” on one of the monitors.

Now, Rankin/Bass cartoons, most of which were done in stop-motion animation, are awesome.  Heat Miser was always one of my favorite characters.

How can you not love this face?

How can you not love this face?

That being said, it wasn’t even Thanksgiving, and we’re already seeing promotions for Christmas specials?

Not that that’s particularly unusual – it’s been happening for at least as long as I have been an adult – but to see holidays I vaguely recall as having some sort of meaning reduced to little more than exercises in marketing saddens me.

Which is saying something, considering that my family growing up was never particularly religious.  For us, Christmas was a time to get together, exchange gifts, eat and play Spades.

Now, it feels as if it’s all about Black Friday and Walmart, which I guess is OK if you’re a member of the Walton family.

Other than that, maybe we’ve lost something along the way.

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