No, No, No! Five Seasonal Don’ts Everyone Does During the Holiday Rush

Source: Pexels

Santa sees you when you’re sleeping, and he knows when you’re awake, but when you opt to do something stupid during the holiday season, everyone’s quick to judge.

But just because you commit an act that might be misconstrued as naughty doesn’t mean you aren’t genuinely nice deep down! Explore this list of the most pervasive yuletide don’ts so you’ll know what to do when the elves threaten you with coal:

  1. Don’t buy friends and family fragrances or lotions they didn’t explicitly ask for or hint at recently.

While fancy fragrances and expensive lotions might seem like an elegant last-minute gift for those grasping at ideas, these goods send mixed messages (and aggravate allergies) at best. Unless you’re confident that the recipient will enjoy the specific scent—for instance, they’ve expressed interest in the fragrance before, but complained they couldn’t handle the price tag—your gesture might actually seem rude. Are you trying to offend them by implying that their odor offends you? Because an economy-size bottle of body wash will achieve the same result (and save you money, too).

Source: Pexels

  1. Don’t allow your children to run amok in the mall while you stand idly by on your smartphone.

Modern parents seem incapable of teaching their children to behave like civilized human beings in public. They allow their kids to chase one another and touch the merchandise unsupervised, while they talk on the phone or browse the Web. Don’t you realize that your children reflect who you are as an individual? Oh, and if they somehow manage to injure themselves, don’t even dare to sue the establishment. After all, Santa knows when you’ve been bad or good—and so does the security footage.

  1. Don’t ship your company’s goods in packaging that blatantly advertises the brand for all to see.

Brands regularly slap their name or logo all over the packages they ship throughout the year. But, during the holiday season, this form of free advertising no longer seems like the smartest sort of product marketing. Families often live in the same house, after all. What if the recipient returns home before the gift giver can hide the package from sight? What if, by putting the name or logo on display, the company has ruined the surprise? Also, “porch pirates” are more prevalent than ever. Your company might as well attach a neon sign that says “TAKE ME” at that rate.

  1. Don’t hit your fellow shoppers with your enormous bags as you barrel through the busy stores.

With heavy coats and bulky scarves galore, people tend to take up more space during the winter months. Yet, while overcrowded corridors and overstocked stores might be enough to trigger even the slightest case of claustrophobia, we all have the power to alleviate stress by simply being more aware of our surroundings. When walking forward, look straight ahead to ensure that you don’t collide with your fellow shoppers. Don’t stop suddenly to check your cellphone or correct your course. And above all else, account for your abundance of bags. They’re now an extension of your person. If they hit me in the gut, I’ll assume they’re carrying out your orders.

Source: Pexels

  1. Don’t plaster your family’s Christmas card with photos of your children or your pets.

When friends and family send “greeting cards” that are really just 5×7 glamour shots of their children or pets, you’ve got to admit that you instinctively roll your eyes at the sight. Everyone understands that snide comments abound upon opening said envelopes, as they’ve done it themselves, yet people still send these unwanted portraits to even the most remote relatives. Don’t try to convince me that this option allows your nearest and dearest to observe your family’s growth. If that were the case, you’d simply slip an actual photograph inside the cards of those who care. Except we all know better—these cards were invented by those who love to brag.

(This post originally appeared on Storia.)

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Deck Your Screens with Christmas Adverts: 5 Holiday Commercials That Stole the Show This Season

15317943_10100501619163156_4721658093138191009_nDivisive rhetoric and unrelenting fear have come to define the year in an unforeseen fashion. Our election alone has set the tone for the tumultuous times ahead. But even in this era of unpredictability, advertisers throughout the world refuse to keep quiet.

While companies, such as Marks & Spencer, have invested vast amounts of time, talent, and money into creating memorable Christmas commercials—in hopes of going viral, no doubt—many have accomplished this feat by putting social issues at the heart of their holiday messages. By tapping into themes that foster love and togetherness, brands have the platform to promote unity through universal truths.

But which advertisements have left an indelible impression on the general public this season? Those that devote airtime to emphasizing what ties us to one another instead of what tears us apart, of course.

  1. Sainsbury’s

 

Based in the United Kingdom, Sainsbury’s 2016 advert combines the charm of stop motion animation and the appeal of James Corden in an effort to convey one simple message: spending time with those you love is the greatest gift of all. Dave, our protagonist, realizes that, despite his best efforts to make the holiday special for his family, he was missing out on the activities that matter most. In response, he concocts crazy ways to avoid his everyday responsibilities so he may fully envelope himself in the joys of the season.

Best part? He’s one half of an interracial couple! I know. This shouldn’t be groundbreaking anymore. But, ever since that one Cheerios commercial sent people into an unnecessary uproar, one cannot help but smile at the subtle, yet strong, message behind such creative choices. As long as there’s love, nothing else matters.

 

  1. Allegro

 

For many, the holidays exacerbate their constant, nagging loneliness. Elderly people often find themselves forgotten, especially, as many remain holed up in nursing homes, forced to spend the rest of their days in some sort of living purgatory.

In the case of Allegro’s viral holiday ad, an elderly gentleman lives alone, far from his immediate family. In preparation for his inevitable trip, the man purchases an English learning kit from the Polish online auction website so he may greet and speak to his granddaughter upon his arrival. It just goes to show that, once again, being with the ones you love will always be the best part of the season. We must make every effort to cherish our time with those who mean the most.

 

  1. Apple

 

Brad Garrett has taken on many varied roles during his admirable career, but none are more lovable than his turn as Frankenstein’s monster in Apple’s holiday commercial. Here, we see Frankie, as he’s called, in the preparation stages of his Christmas debut. Once he joins the crowd around the town’s Christmas tree, he replaces his bolts with festive bulbs and begins his rendition of ‘Home for the Holidays’.

While some greet his advances with disdain and hate, one child starts to sing along instead, inspiring the group to set aside their differences and come together in the spirit of the season. Considering the rampant hatred our society now displays for those who don’t quite meet their conformity quota, this commercial promotes acceptance and understanding in ways many have yet to comprehend.

 

  1. Elgiganten

 

Despite being surrounded by family members, those who are considered different may still feel alone this season. But as Elgiganten, the Scandinavian electronics retailer, depicts in its latest advertisement, actions can truly speak louder than words.

While the transgender teen at the heart of this commercial appears to be uncomfortable in the presence of her family, her father walks over and silently hands her his gift. She rips the paper back to reveal her very own hair straightener. Though no words are exchanged, his gesture and her smile say it all. No one has the right to dictate how another should live his or her life. Instead, we must learn to accept people for who they are and empower them to blossom into who they want to be.

 

  1. Amazon Prime

 

Religious intolerance has become the cornerstone policy of the impending Republican administration. But Amazon Prime’s latest advertisement clearly indicates that the company has no tolerance for bigotry. This ad focuses on what happens when two old friends—a priest and an Imam—meet for tea. These two men bond over their aches and pains, ultimately sending each other the same knee braces in response. There’s no tension, no hatred—only laughter.

Here, the creatives behind this concept made sure to highlight the parallels between the two religious leaders to demonstrate that, while many tend to fixate on the differences between Christians and their Muslim counterparts, all are connected by their devotion to a higher power. Just because two people observe different faiths doesn’t mean they cannot come together in friendship. Ultimately, we’re all humans, and it’s this shared experience that should encourage compassion instead of engendering conflict.

I’ll Have a “Blue” Thanksgiving

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Though Thanksgiving’s merely hours away, consumers and retailers are preparing themselves for something that goes against everything this holiday represents. While many are stuffing the turkey and gorging on apple pie, others will begin gathering outside storefronts across the country to nab “Brown Thursday” deals before “Black Friday” commences. On a day where we’re supposed to give thanks and convey gratitude, shoppers will be scrambling for bargains, while employees forego family dinners to perpetuate the public’s obsession with material goods.

Take a moment to read my latest blog entry for “Think Customers: The 1to1 Blog” and explore how this emerging tradition may mark the downfall of “quality time” as we know it:

Thanksgiving has always been a convoluted mess. Our predecessors plundered the Native American land, the occasion wasn’t recognized as an official holiday until 1863, and I’m not even certain as to why we specifically target turkeys for the main course. But one thing’s for sure–“thanks” and “giving” no longer go together like peanut butter and jelly. (Continue…)

 

Where Are You, Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here’s an excerpt from an entry I wrote for “Think Customers: The 1to1 Blog” just yesterday:

To those companies that will not open their doors Thanksgiving night, I applaud you. To those who refuse to put up decorations until after Thanksgiving, I commend your decision. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, and perhaps retailers across the nation will think I’ve lost my marbles, but the holiday season should be about coming together, not tearing each other apart. (People have died at Black Friday events, so don’t tell me competition is an exciting part of the challenge.)

To read the entire post, click here. Happy Holidays!