Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not trying to bite off of TK and Robert Scott’s Grincheriffic schtick. I really do love the holidays. I love holiday films, crave peppermint in my mocha and clamor for faux snow on shop windows. I have been known to carol unironically (if a bit drunkenly). Yesterday I saw a person who was not only sporting a duck costume, but also, inexplicably, wearing a Santa suit. To be clear, that’s Kringle’d and Feathered. The pants didn’t even fit over the tail portion of the costume. It was patently absurd and it warmed my sneering heart. My laugh was all jolly and not even a smidge schadenfreudey. Oh yes, I’m one of those obnoxious people with an itchy trigger finger who, the day after Thanksgiving, starts blasting Bing, Frank, Ella, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and even, brace yourself, Mariah Carey and Wham! (For the uninitiated, that exclamation mark is part of the band name. I wanted to clarify, lest you think I was displaying an unseemly level of enthusiasm for Wham! Au contraire, my enthusiasm is entirely seemly.)
I know, we all curl a collective lip when drugstores put out the comically over-sized candy canes before they’ve sold out of fake blood and Scream masks. I’m with you, the crass commercialism and grasping greed that accompanies the end of the year is the worst. In years past, however, the tinsel armor around my heart remained miraculously undented. But this holiday season, for the first time in many years, I live in a house with cable television. You can’t deny it, folks, Madison Ave. is trying to ruin Christmas and if Roger Sterling were still alive (and, you know, real), I would slap the highball right out of his hand.
Here it is, the most absolutely abysmal holiday ad that has turned me from Cindy Lou Who into Billy Bob Thornton.
Pretty bad, right? There are worst slogans (“Season of Reason”? I’m so sure, Acura), but this Vampire Weekend ditty has invaded my dreams (that’s where the visions of sugarplums are supposed to be dancing, damnit). Look, ads don’t have to be this bad. Last year, the British company Marks & Spencer assembled so many of the things I love: A dapper Stephen Fry! The ladies from “Ab Fab”! Wallace and Gromit! Philip “The Gene Genie” Glenister! A half-naked trollop!
Doesn’t it make you crave mince pies? (Mince pies are, in fact, filthsome and disgusting and not worth your cravings.) And this, this crap is the American answer to that ad except they’ve replaced everything awesome with everything horrid and oh my god are you trying to make me dislike shoes and sweaters, Macy’s? Are you???!!
Were holiday commercials ever thus? I can’t answer that question because the only holiday ad I can remember from my youth is this one…and I love it. It leaves me dazed and grinning like someone decked me right in the halls.