Friday, December 27, 2013

Putting the X in Christmas?

I watched Miracle on 34th Street this past Christmas (the original 1947 version, not the 90's crack-pot story). It's a quirky movie that winds up with Kris Kringle getting put on trial for insanity because he truly believes himself to be Santa. However, there are a lot of other messages buried within this black-and-white gem.

For starters, after Kris gets hired by Macy's to be their in-store Santa, he starts to refer customers to other stores when there is a better deal elsewhere. At first, the idea nearly gets him fired, but when Mr. Macy is flooded by calls and letters from customers thanking him for the new "marketing stunt," Kris' unconventional idea is made store policy, and customers flow in by the droves.

There are a few excellent quotes from the movie that I'd like to point out:
"Yeah, there's a lot of bad 'isms' floatin' around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck, make a buck. Even in Brooklyn it's the same - don't care what Christmas stands for, just make a buck, make a buck." - Alfred, Macy janitor
"You see, Mrs. Walker, this is quite an opportunity for me. For the past 50 years or so I've been getting more and more worried about Christmas. Seems we're all so busy trying to beat the other fellow in making things go faster and look shinier and cost less that Christmas and I are sort of getting lost in the shuffle." - Kris Kringle
I hope those who might be reading this kept these thoughts close to heart this past Christmas season. All too often, we forget what the holidays are all about (religious beliefs aside). Sure, there's nothing wrong with gift-giving and splurging here and there, but as I watch Black Friday become Black Week and people murdering others over game systems, I wonder if we remember that there's no X in Christmas. After all, as Ebeneezer Scrooge said of his first employer, Mr. Fezziwig:
"The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune."
From a guy who spent Christmas Eve sleeping in his car and woke up with a smile on his face, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and that you GAVE a Merry Christmas to all whom you know and love.