A Christmas lesson to be learned from Bill Murray’s Scrooged.
There’s a bit in my favourite Christmas film Scrooged when Bill Murray’s character says to his brother James “are you kidding? I love Christmas!”
It’s said with tongue firmly in cheek; Frank Cross has not yet been visited by three ghosts and so only sees Christmas as the time when his TV network gets rich off all the people watching the special seasonal programming.
But as much as I’m firmly at the other end of the spectrum, loving the time spent with my family at such a special time of year – and with some sweet gifts to boot – I still get very upset about the commercialised side of things on TV.
For all the television we watched yesterday there were dozens of adverts promoting various sales and discounts beginning today, and I’ve no doubt that many people have headed out today and will tomorrow to get the benefit of the so-called sales.
It’s a crock because this weekend is no different to the past two months of advertising we’ve already been subjected to, promising savings on the gifts we’ve spent money on hoping our family members enjoy them.
And now that we’ve had the special day of exchanging gifts and spending that precious time together, we’ve barely even had time to digest the delicious Christmas dinner before we’re getting battered with more advertising telling us to get off the sofa and spend even more.
They’re not subtle about it either; in fact they’re a little bit facetious about the fact. One ad I saw yesterday said something like “was something missing from under the tree?” while another encouraged us to “get the gifts you really wanted” at their sale.
It’s bad enough that we’ve been battered with so much advertising from as early as Halloween, without the supplemental salvos of messaging that we should empty out our wallets even further just 24 hours on from this special day because our family don’t really know us.
Except that mine does, and while not every single gift I received this Christmas is going to hit the spot – it’s only natural – I at least appreciate the thought absolutely every time I unwrap another exciting and suspense-filled layer of Christmas wrapping paper. Nothing that an advert claims can possibly make me less certain of the love in the room on Christmas Day, and if it does for anyone else than I can only feel sorry for you.
I’m so grateful for everything I got this Christmas, and at the risk of sounding terribly snobby and snooty I know that there are people who really need to carefully watch Scrooged again to get the message: it’s not the gift, it’s the thought that counts.
And if the gift happens to be amazing, well that’s just a delightful bonus.