Greed...It’s What’s for Christmas

It began with Black Friday advertising.
author   by KIMBERLY RIPLEY   2018

It’s been inevitable for decades.

Slowly but surely, we’re turning greedy at Christmas—or Chanukah or Kwanzaa, or whatever you choose to celebrate at this time of year. But this year really takes the cake when it comes to blatantly displaying that greed in holiday advertising. Far worse than greedy kids wanting more presents under the tree, adults are featured front and center—with no hint at the real meaning of the season.

It began with Black Friday advertising. JC Penney really takes the cake for one of this year’s “Greedy” awards. A family is seated around their Thanksgiving table, expressing what each is grateful for. One lady’s gratitude, however, is clearly aimed in a different direction. 

You really missed the mark, JC Penney.

The retail store’s greed didn’t quite live up to that of GMC’s Black Friday ad. A young woman presents her husband/partner with what appears to be a fitness watch/tracker of some sort. There’s really no mention of the holidays, but it’s sort of implied with the holiday décor in the room.

“I love it,” he says, after which he says he bought a “little” something for both of them, too, and leads her outside.

Two new GMC trucks sit in the driveway—a red one he intends for her and a black one for himself. His greedy wife/partner, however, wants the black truck, and physically lays claim to it, while announcing in a spoiled brat/not appropriate for an adult tone, “I love it.” She says it again. And again.

Hubby/partner concedes by saying, “I like red.”

Doesn’t this commercial give you a warm, fuzzy feeling? Not! It further lends itself to the greed our society is embracing, putting money and material possessions far ahead of those things that are truly important at this time of year. The feelings these ads impose are even worse than those of bladder leak, colorectal disorders and Charmin bear toilet paper commercials. At least there are hints of warmth in those.

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Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Married with five grown children, her favorite title is that of “Nana” to Lilly and Aiden. In her spare time, Kim enjoys traveling to her second home in Fort Myers, Florida, where she hangs out on the Sanibel Island shore collecting seashells and walking in the soft, white sand. You can find her work in at least 16 editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul as well as in American Profile, USA Today, Fort Myers Magazine, Gulf Coast Woman, and several other print and online publications.


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