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December 20, 2006

Happy Holidays, SND Readers

cokesant.gifEvery year the blogosphere is filled with vitriol over the spectre of Christmas marketing. There's anger over the fact that it seems to be starting ever earlier, with Lowe's starting the assault a week before Halloween, for example.

Christmas TV, the holiday's main marketing vehicle, is accused of being bland and full of cheesy clich├ęs. Moreover, the products that are offered to us range from the absurd to the utterly tasteless.

Two naming issues have come to the fore this year: the first is the origin of Santa Claus. Is his current manifestation as a jolly, white bearded fellow dispensing gifts an invention of Coke's or not? Most marketers know the story of Haddon Sundbloom, who was hired by Coke to create a more jolly, "user friendly" St. Nick back in the 30s. Now the folks at Urban Legends claim that this is not true; that Coke only "co-opted" Santa's current identity.

The bigger problem seems to be not whether we should wish each other "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas," but whether we should be buying "Christmas Trees' or "Holiday Trees." Steve Nix at About Forestry reminds us that the Architect of the Capitol has displayed a "Christmas Tree" on the grounds since 1964. There is an open vote where you can vent your opinion on the matter.

I don't want to skew the vote, but right now the name "Christmas Tree" for the fir tree that Christians use to celebrate the beginning of the Winter solstice, is by far in the lead.

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Posted by William Lozito at December 20, 2006 7:24 PM
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