Posted by: thescoundrel | December 7, 2007

Bah Humbug and a Miserable Merry Christmas!


It seems that the Australians are serious about tuning their country into the land of the Grinch! I mentioned a few posts back that the Ozzy store Santa Claus’s that were hired were told that it was preferred that they not laugh the traditional Santa expression Ho-Ho-Ho. According to one Santa it gone past a recommendation. According to a Reuter’s article, 70-year-old John Oakes, a three year Santa Claus veteran, has reported that he was fired for singing Jingle Bells and saying Ho-Ho-Ho instead of saying Ha-Ha-Ha. The store claims it was his attitude, yeah right, I have seen that kind of game played before by corporations. I guess that also means that all the little children who hang their stocking by the chimney with care, can expect a to find a lump of coal in them Christmas morning. The upside would be if they did not want to wait around for the time and effort it takes for the coal to become a diamond they could at least burn it for fuel, assuming the Ozzy environmental warriors would let them.

It seems that the Ozzies are buying into the Christmas Grinch philosophy full throttle. Bah Humbug and a Miserable Merry Christmas to you also!!!

On a more cheery Christmas note another less ordinary Christmas gift link. This one is an almost perfect nostalgia gift for those forty-something mommies and daddies:

For those late boomers wanting to take a nostalgia trip or any of you xer’s wanting to see what many of your parents were wasting, err. I mean investing their allowance on in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s; how about some very unusual stickers, the precursors of the garbage pail kids stickers! I plead the Fifth Amendment (and if that doesn’t fly, I plead stupidity) on even knowing about such rubbish. But if you are interested you better hurry as they have limited quantities of these collectors’ items that will eventually be gone forever or at least until somebody finds some other warehouse with boxes containing these long forgotten treasures.

Wow what says Christmas to your honey like Jewelry! And if your shoes squeak when you walk (mine do), I can think of no better way to give a gift of jewelry than to be thrifty also. Another less ordinary Christmas gift link: a do-it-yourself real pearl necklace gift!

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Responses

  1. i still don’t get the hahaha instead of hohoho. haven’t these people heard of context?!

  2. When you insanely jump completely over the politically correct precipice you have quit thinking and lose all understanding of context.

  3. Why are you giving so much power over YOUR Christmas to the big corporations? Why would you allow what a big business tells its employees to say or not say make your or anyone’s Christmas less merry? I keep hearing people say the true meaning of Christmas has been lost and then people declare that their Christmas is being attacked or made less merry by what store employee’s say or don’t say.
    I say, if you don’t like what the store employees say or don’t say then the simple solution is to not have your Christmas experience revolve around stores! Make Christmas revolve around family, home, church and neighborhood. People in those places will share your expectations of what Christmas should be like. Ignore the stores. They don’t have anything to do with Christmas. (Also stop expecting to see Christmas displays in public places. Those places belong to everyone, including people from other faith traditions. )

  4. Dave, I can guarantee you the corporations will have little affect on my Christmas holiday except those I choose to accept. I understand the current holiday season of green ($$$) from the inner workings. That does not mean I will give guilty retailers a pass by refusing to take corporations to task for their actions of failing to acknowledge Christmas holiday traditions, while they legally plunder the bank accounts of people around the world in the name of Christmas. To many people, Santa Claus is as much, if not more so, a part of Christmas tradition as the celebration of Christ’s birth is to Christians. When a company is planning to exploit a group of individuals; they owe the full spectacle to those they are about to profit from. When you devise enormous profit campaigns centered on a cultures festival, you owe sincere anticipated homage to the culture you are benefiting from. And that includes the Ho-Ho-Ho that the little children have come to expect from the mouth of Santa Claus.

  5. The stores owe it to you, huh? Well what do they owe their Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist customers?

    You seem to be saying that store Santa Clauses ARE the true meaning of Christmas. Stores have had Santa Clauses only for the last 100 years or so. What was the true meaning of Christmas for the 1800 years before that?

  6. Gee Dave where did I claim Santa is the true meaning behind Christmas. I said that to many people Santa is as much a part of the tradition as celebrating Christ birthday is to Christians. In many ways there are two Christmas festivals. One revolves around the different Christianity beliefs and how they honor the birth of Christ and the other is a winter festival that has incorporated those same Christian beliefs into a more secular cultural event, that also celebrates the birth of Christ. The legends of Santa Claus/Father Christmas/Kris Kringle has been solidly integrated into this festival. The stores not only owe the most profitable part of their season to this festival, they plan their black lines around this festival. And yes, like any business, they owe the success to the people whom are utilized to obtain this achievement. A part of the process is to honor the cultural nuances that accompany the event. And the cultural event that is the driving profit force behind companies this time of year is the more secularized version of Christmas, and that includes Santa Claus and his legend.

    As to other faiths I think it is a wonderful idea if stores were to teach and honor their cultural festivals. I have always informed others I have trained them to become more aware of their customers as they interact. It is their duty to respect those individuals. Of course that is part of the problem in the current corporation shopping mentality, which is to run customers through the shopping experience like cattle headed to slaughter.

  7. Scoundrel, I’m sure you are exhausted from fighting those strawmen. 😉

  8. Well, Scoundrel, trying to respect all their customers is what I am sure they are trying to do when they tell their employees to say ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Ha-ha-ha’ rather than ‘Ho-ho-ho.’
    Stores are not in the business of maintaining cultural traditions. They put Christmas displays in the window and hire Santas in order to sell more stuff, not in order to maintain a tradition. If you can convince them that they can make more money by saying ‘Ho-ho-ho’ rather than ‘Ha-ha-ha’ then they would do it in a second.
    I have some advice. You can follow it or not as you like, so don’t accuse me of making false accusation or straw-men arguments. If the advice doesn’t fit you then you should just ignore it. The advice is: Only go into stores in order to buy stuff, not in order to see Christmas traditions maintained or to get the Christmas spirit. Since business must, by their nature, have making a profit as their only goal they are cannot be dependable transmitters of cultural traditions.
    I also advise you to give up any feelings you may have that the stores owe you anything. They discharged any obligation they had when they gave you the merchandise in exchange for your money. This was a voluntary business transaction on each side that left neither side with any further obligation once it was complete.
    Home, family and church are the places you should be looking for cultural traditions to be maintained and where you should be looking for that Christmas spirit. Do not take this advice as an accusation of you or an argument for anything. It is just advice that may or may not be applicable to any particular individual.

  9. [Well, Scoundrel, trying to respect all their customers is what I am sure they are trying to do when they tell their employees to say ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Ha-ha-ha’ rather than ‘Ho-ho-ho.’]

    With that statement I can only assume you have never spent much time behind the scene dealing with the retail business executives. I went through too many of those sessions than I care for. The reason corporations haggle internally over whether or not to say Merry Christmas has nothing to do about pleasing all their customers. It was all about the ACLU attacks on government officials/institutions, trying to get them to drive any public assertions of Christmas behind closed doors. I sat through more than one of those discussions. I can assure you that most companies actually like to pay homage to their patrons and their cultural routines. It is good business practice. But they also have boards they answer to, company assets, personal, employee and their family obligations to protect. And when a board/company has to sweat about ridiculous lawsuits filed by the PC hate groups, many often cringe go into protect mode and hide behind PC movements like the HA-HA-HA BS. You may have noticed some companies have started to come back out into the open and have quit hiding from PC hate movements and returned to using courtesies such as Merry Christmas.

  10. interesting discussion going on (no sarcasm intended). i live in malaysia, and we’re known for our multi-ethnicity society (but then again this is the case for most metropolitan cities in the world in recent times, but that’s not the point) and when it comes to festive seasons, i don’t think we’re very pc. to us, no matter what race we are, we ‘celebrate’ all the festivals. i could be a malay and i can ‘celebrate’ xmas with my fellow christians. this is often the case when people have relatives of different faiths. i don’t know who might get offended with hohoho, but in malaysia we generally wouldn’t (i’d like to believe) because when uttered in proper context it has no derogatory meaning.

  11. Great! We have finally got to your real point! I don’t know why I had to drag it out of you. The store executives are not to blame. It’s all the fault of the ACLU. Do I have that right? I don’t want to proceed until I know for sure I have not misunderstood. I don’t want qcexaminer accusing me of making straw men arguments. Just confirm or deny that I have understood you correctly.

  12. My point was and still is that the company in question has chosen to take financial advantage of a cultural event. I actually have no problem with that, it is part of capitalism. What I have a problem with is that when a company becomes a part of a community and melds itself into the fabric of an event , it is their responsibility to perform the customary nuances that accompany that event. To simplify it for you: when you meet someone you greet them hello, not say WTF do you want. At Christmas time if during your interaction with a customer you find out they are Christmas Shopping you would include during your discourse, have a Merry Christmas. And in the case of this story, where Santa Claus has been ingrained into the Christmas festival, Santa says Ho-Ho-Ho not Ha-Ha-Ha. Now there are times when it is correct to be politically correct. But telling Old Saint Nick not to say his trademark Ho-Ho-Ho is not one of those times. If it were a casual accident it would be nothing. BUT – this was a plotted attempt at reformation of the legend because someone has given in to the fear of political correctness created pressure. This corporation has just spit in the face of the legend and told it that it was not good enough as it was and it has to changed to fit their conception of how the legend should be told. It reminds me of the big push many years back not to say “Jesus” and instead substitute the Spanish pronunciation in Christmas carols. Now that was a huge farce. It is kind of like liberalism and conservatism should be something positive. Both have an important parts in the governing of countries. But over the years they have actually turned in to slurs for Republicans and Democrats. I sometimes use them as slurs myself to slap people awake. We have changed the legends of conservatism and liberalism for the worst, not the better. Making Santa Claus politically correct changes his legend; and when we change legends we change the storyline until it often becomes unrecognizable. Forcing Santa to say Ha-Ha-Ha is all about changing the legend to protect company assets because they fear the PC movement.

  13. LMAO, I complicated it even more I suppose.


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