I get it—things are really tough these days. Unless your’re a banker or stock broker chances are pretty good you have to pull the purse strings a little tighter again this year.
You couldn’t turn on the television in the last month without seeing an ad for Walmart’s lay-a-way offering. When you walk into Walmart, K-mart, etc., you’re not expecting luxury. You expect economy, a decent deal for the few bucks you have to spend. One would fully expect to find just about anything you needed to make the holidays festive at these retailers.
Typically, however, I wouldn’t expect to find Santa.
I remember Santa only coming to big shopping malls, or maybe the elementary school. He usually set up shop in a tasteful, sometimes elaborate display in the center of the mall, lots of room for fluffy ‘snow,’ maybe two or three small Christmas trees (decked out, of course), and perhaps a few cheeky elves replete with pointy caps and shoes.
Point being that a visit to see Santa should feel like a visit to see Santa, not one to the old folks home.
I was in a Walmart this morning to get a few groceries and came across this:
This must be where Laid-Off Santa comes to meet good girls and boys. Look at the austere set up. How can you not feel saddened by this. Hey Santa, how about I give you a gift this year, huh? Looks like the Peanuts gang gave you their homely tree, too.
Man, you couldn’t even afford a “Will be back at” clock sign! That sign on your “chair” tells me you must have given Madoff some of your meager funds. (If you can’t read it, it says “Santa will return tomorrow”, hand written in blue marker). You’ve hocked your big, overstuffed, impressive throne-like chair for a black La-z-boy? Damn!
And what’s the deal with the faux living room cardboard standup? Even televisions are embracing 3D these days, Santa. You know that, right? And they slapped you in the middle of the electronics department—well, looking on thr bright side at least they didn’t stuff you into the tire department; the Garden Center would have been a bit more airy . . . and . . . green?
As if the über-commercialization of the holiday wasn’t enough of a spirit killer for me, this profane, desultory Santa display would have made me laugh out loud if it weren’t so utterly uninspiring. Instead I am struck by how pathetically tragic this is for children who deserve more.