My goal with these brief posts is to be fun, informative and in touch.
Taylor Mason Beat

Christmas Time!

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Here it is, the middle of December! Just a few days until Christmas Eve, or what I like to call "Christmas Shopping Day!" Followed closely by "Sending Out Christmas Cards Day!" Before you know it we'll be celebrating Valentine's Day, February 14th. What I refer to as "Take Down The Christmas Decorations Day!"

For whatever reason, people seem to be pretty optimistic this year. The stock market is way up, I've heard a lot of "Merry Christmas" from folks in all sorts of public places, and "Help Wanted" signs are up all over the place. I filled out a couple of applications, just for fun. It's not as easy as I thought.

Frankly, I fudged my resume so much I could have signed it "Willy Wonka." On one form it asked me to describe myself. I was going to put "handsome and honest," but then I decided that I should just choose one or the other.

I did get offered a job as "Mall Cop," which is kinda like being the backup for a meter maid. I'm just gonna keep my day job.

Sometimes I wonder how I got it this far without making it in the corporate world. Just lucky I guess!

It is unbelievable what sells for "gifts" this time of year. Which is to say: EVERYTHING SELLS FOR GIFTS!

There are pre-ripped jeans. Jeans made with rips! Whenever I see someone wearing them I rush up and say, "OMG! You're the Incredible Hulk, aren't you?!" (Shouldn't people who wear ripped jeans also have to have ripped abs, just to match? I bet some designers are working on an accessory right now that will make it LOOK as if you have ripped abs to coordinate the package).

The fitness craze has led to fitness wear, and I'm talking about clothing that has logos and emblems on it. I saw women wearing sweat pants at the gym today, one had "PINK" written on the back, one had the word "JUICY" written on the back. My first thought? They're making grapefruit!

In the electronics section of Best Buy I saw a 3D TV. It was a big screen, functioning as a demo, and wouldn't you know it? There was a commercial for Viagra.

The in-store "sales" are unbelievable, too. Walking through any department store across the nation you'll come across this display in women's clothing: REDUCED RACK. Followed by GREATLY REDUCED RACK. And finally, "WHAT WERE WE THINKING?! RACK."

Then there's the "Famous Designer Clothing That's Too Big Or Too Small For You - 50% Off Rack."

I overheard a guy at an eyeglass store who thought the contact lens case he was examining was made by Polo, because it had “R” and “L” written on it.

We all know it's a major challenge to work in retail during the holidays. Sales people spend half their time convincing customers how great a product is so they’ll buy it, then they have to turn around and spend the other half explaining that it’s prone to failure, so they sell you an extended warranty. They might as well say, “The company should make these better, but they don’t. Sorry. That’ll be $99.95.”

In other words, the truth is it’ll be fine for a while, but you’ll end up disappointed.

Which is the exact reason why I bet most people who buy the extended warranty are married women.

The supermarkets and grocers are just as prone to these kinds of holiday come-ons. I was in the bakery and came across this sign: BAKED FRESH. Well, duh! Of course it was baked fresh. It might be stale now, but last week, when it was baked, it was fresh! By that way of thinking, I was born young! I might be old now, but back in the day....

In the meat department I overheard a woman ask the butcher, "I see you have 20 lb. turkeys. Do they get any bigger?" He deadpanned, "No. They're all dead." She filled out a complaint, but I gave him the thumbs-up.

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not a cynic, and I love Christmas. I shouted "Merry Christmas" to a stranger in the parking lot, but he flipped me off. Hey, that's OK! It's the season for giving!

But I see stuff and it makes me wonder where folks are coming from. Like my neighbor who has a manger scene in his front yard, which is cool, but it's right next to a giant inflatable Santa. That's like wearing a Chicago Cubs jersey with a Chicago White Sox hat. WHAAA?!?

I've always wondered if those department store Santas work for homeland security.

The Santa/coal thing is pretty non-PC don't you think? Not only are "bad kids" bad, but now they're leaving a carbon footprint.

And mistletoe? Is it a sweet, quaint, innocent custom that leaves people feeling warm and fuzzy inside? Or is it a harassment lawsuit waiting to happen? You see mistletoe at office Christmas parties, with the one guy from HR hanging out underneath, just hoping against hope. It's all the rejection plus the added allure of litigation.

Christmas Eve we used to read bedtime stories to the kids. Now they just text themselves to sleep. Christmas morning is special. The surprise! The joy! The fun! Then that moment where family members subtract what they spent on gifts from what they received and calculate the net. "Hey, I'm way ahead this year!"

Finally come February Christmas bills: THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENTS.

I don't care. I love this season. Merry Christmas and thanks for reading!

Taylor

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