I've been in the behavior modification game for a few years now. I know the tricks of mind-molding, motivation, manipulation and marketing. I've become pretty jaded to the sleaziness of mass-marketing, but I still find the power of targeted marketing to be eerily creepy.
For example, how in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks did some company called The American Girl Doll Company know that this was an appropriate time to send a catalog to the Amazing-Missus and myself?!
Well they did. And now two of these must-haves will be under the tree for the Grand-Girls this Christmas. (Shhhhh, it's a surprise.)
Not only did we need a doll for each, but a change of clothes as well. Their outfits cost about what I spend on one for myself. (Yeah, yeah, I hear you out there. So maybe it's not fair to compare an American Girl doll outfit to a worn out pair of Levis, an old V-neck sweater and a t-shirt.)
I'm not complaining though. The few moments of joy on their faces before they are on to the next present will be "Priceless."
Like that master of "exterior illumination" Clark Griswold, I too want to stage a Christmastime experience so vivid, Norman Rockwell himself will want to come back from the dead to paint it. And maybe Thomas Kincaid will want to come with him because the warm, golden glow from the windows of our happy, little cottage will be ultra-inspirational.
So yes, I'll fall for the pitch of holiday hucksters and buy whatever they promise will help make it all happen--just like thousands of others before me.
I wonder if Mom & Dad charged into Sears and fought other parents for the last Mr. Potato Head on the shelf, knowing it would provide their son hours of creative fun? Or it would have if Mom hadn't needed my potato back to boil up for lunch.
That's right, back in the good ol' days, Mr. Potato Head didn't come with the plastic spud. You had to provide your own torso.
Well for whatever it is that you've fought to have under the tree--an X-Box, a Cabbage Patch Doll, Tickle Me Elmo, or Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie, I hope that when it gets opened, you get a smile and a hug.