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Nearly there

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.....and so on!

Hope you're ready for Christmas, because it will be here on Thursday, whether we're ready, or not!  I think we're ready, but I've experienced a couple of instances this holiday season when I thought my wife and I had completed our shopping and preparation, only to find that we have more to finish!

Have you noticed some of this year's holiday advertising varies greatly from charming and fun to downright puzzling?  For instance, the Lexus commercials, showing their various models wrapped in a large bow have been around for a while, as have the Mercedes spots with Santa driving a team of red cars in lieu of reindeer.  I particularly like the Apple commercial that's running right now, showing an older woman enjoying and becoming emotional over a long-forgotten piece of music.  There was also a TV ad for a regional healthcare provider in my area that conveys a simple message of peace for the season.  Barnes and Noble has used a very tasteful series of ads to highlight what it's like to shop at their stores, narrated by veteran actress Sigourney Weaver.  The funniest I've seen is a spot for a video game store, wherein a group of elves hijack a truck full of games and equipment for Santa to deliver to good girls and boys.

Some of the misses, in my opinion, include Big Lots, the seller of discontinued and odd-lot merchandise.  They have some sort of faux Motown girl group singing very aggressively about "nailing this Christmas" and buying "real gifts" at their store.  The singing is OK, but the lyrics are a bit off-putting.  Wal-Mart has blitzed us with ads featuring former TV star Melissa Joan Hart and current performer Anthony Anderson (an odd coupling if ever there was one).  Not awful, but their chemistry is a little lacking.  And I'm kind of tired of the Soma ads for pajamas and other intimate clothing.  Just a little too in-your-face.

We've been out among the shoppers here and there of late, and the reports that people are spending less this year may not apply to my home area, judging by the crowds.  People are being pretty nice to one another, but that may change as time and tempers get shorter!

Let me share a quick story of humility.  My wife and I attended church yesterday morning, and as we were leaving saw that the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus were selling bags of kettlecorn to raise funds.  So I stopped after mass to purchase a bag, and noticed another man doing the same, only he paid quite a bit more for his bag than I did and indicated that he was happy to donate his change to the Knights.  I recognized him immediately, as he's a local celebrity, but the Knight who waited on him apparently did not.  I overheard them engaging in some chitchat, as another person walked up and spoke to this person, addressing him as "coach."  The seller said, "Are you at Kentucky?" and meant the University. The man acknowledged that he was.  "And what do you do?" the seller asked.  "I'm the head football coach," responded Coach Mark Stoops, with an enormous grin.  The seller apologized for not recognizing him, but it was a very nice moment that ended in a handshake.

I so much prefer that to a "don't you know who I am?" moment that might have happened with another person!

So that's that for this morning.  Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!


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