Pots and Pans…and Caribbean Cruises

30 Nov

The voice on the other end of the line said that I had won. After placing my name in a ballot box, I had been selected to win one of many special prizes. All I had to do was come to a very brief presentation featuring a top of the line brand name item. Seemed like a reasonable request to make. After all, there was no requirement to make a purchase, and I was guaranteed a prize at the end. Of course I accepted the offer.

So we showed up to the conference room at the Rich Tree Hotel. Turns out we were attending a presentation on a unique line of pots and pans that would replace any desire for all other pots and pans for the rest of our natural lives. The ones sold in the stores….they were a fraud. These were the real thing. They were chique, durable, and you didn’t have to use any kind of oil or cooking spray….and they had a life time warranty. I could be using them well into my nineties…which is how long I would live considering the health benefits of its non stick coating.

I was convinced. I kept wondering if Shady, who was sitting right next to me,  was equally impressed…especially when they told us that if we went ahead with this purchase (and who in their right mind wouldn’t) they would throw in a Caribbean cruise! Yes, a free cruise all for purchasing a set of pots and pans that cost a few measly pay cheques. AND don’t forget about the prize we were guaranteed at the end!

At the end of the presentation we were told to stand up, give our partner a hug, and make a decision. All the couples stood up. They smiled to each other, gave each other hugs, and got in line to make their thousand dollar purchases. Shady?  He stood up, turned to me, patted me on the back, and shook his head. He wasn’t sold.

Guess the marketing strategies didn’t quite work out on him.

I have to be completely honest…This is not the first time that I’ve been lured into a marketing strategy. If it were up to me, we would have made numerous, far too expensive purchases that I would have come to regret the moment I stepped into the parking lot. I just get so easily convinced. The sales people, they are so persuasive, and it doesn’t take much for me to come to the conclusion that I need whatever it is they are selling. Storage containers that will revolutionize my linen closet, candles that will make my whole house smell like a cinnamon roll factory, cannisters that will change my whole baking experience every time I open up the pantry. One afternoon in IKEA and I’m convinced I need to throw everything out and start all over again.

The Ultimate Marketing Campaign

Perhaps there is no other time of the year when ad campaigns are more rampant than during the Christmas season. Just the other day I walked into Starbucks for an innocent cup of coffee on my way to work. Before long, whatever marketing strategy they were using on me, it was working. The smell of the coffee, the holiday music, the new line of red starbucks mugs that looked incredibly cozy and inviting. I wanted to order one of everything I laid eyes on, and somehow felt incredibly welcome and at home.  “Ahhh….Christmas is here,” I thought to myself. Someone up in the head office worked reeeeally hard for me to feel like that!

What’s worrisome to me is that this time of year, if I am not careful, I can easily be persuaded that Christmas is merely a beautiful holiday experience. While standing in line listening to yet another rendition of Jingle Bells, wrapping gifts while commercials advertise “Christmas-y” movies that have absolutely nothing to do with Christ…I can fall prey to the message that Christmas is about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, warm lights on the Christmas tree, decorative stockings on the fireplace, and children running around in diaper shirts that say “My First Christmas”.

Even as Christians, do we not accidentally slip into the mantality that this is what defines Christmas. Buying gifs. Decorating our homes in red and green. Sitting by the tree drinking hot chocolate from our red starbucks mugs. If someone says the word Christmas, are these the images that easily come to mind?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love warm and cozy.  I love decorating my home, wrapping presents and sharing the day with all of the children in the family who I love to lavish with gifts.  But more than ever, at this time of year, I need to be on guard not to fall prey to marketing techniques. Techniques that persuasively attempt to redefine the very meaning of Christmas itself. These celebrations, they are beautiful. But they are not the meaning.

As we take part in the rush of the Christmas shopping, as we wade through the malls, bombarded by messages, billboards, holiday music and commercials…let us watch that we are not trading in the meaning of Christmas for something that it is not.  

Christmas is about Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone. Let’s help each other to remember that.


6 Responses to “Pots and Pans…and Caribbean Cruises”

  1. Peter November 30, 2012 at 4:47 PM #

    Great post, I really liked how you transitioned from your opening story.
    I’m interested to know what are some ways your family reminds each other that Christmas is about Jesus? 🙂

    • digdeepwithdina December 2, 2012 at 8:31 AM #

      Hi Peter, thank you for your comment!
      There are a few things that we do…the most important I believe to be just the decision to remember! We love beingwith our church family during the Christmas celebration…and on the actual day with our family gathered around, we spend some time reading passages about the coming and arrival of Christ. How about you, what do you do?

  2. Georgie December 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM #

    I really enjoyed your post Dina…it made me want to be more mindful of what my heart is really delighting in this Christmas.

  3. Ee December 4, 2012 at 2:27 PM #

    Amen to that Dina. Very good one.

  4. Peter December 8, 2012 at 10:42 AM #

    Awesome. Always curious about other people’s way of celebrating/remembering.

    In recent years my family has set aside a table setting for Jesus (we celebrate Christmas Eve) and sometimes with a birthday cake.

  5. Samantha Jones December 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM #

    To get that superb escape you must check out having vacation cruises, where you will have a one of kind adventure. Any person wanting to experience a panoramic cruise that is containing the best level of customer support will have to take a look at Caribbean Cruises.

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