'Twas a marketing Christmas

Twas the day after Thanksgiving and all through the city, every creature was stirring, my God, what a pity.

Eager passengers packed in Volkswagens drew near, in hopes the aura of Christmas soon would be here.

Shoppers were nestled like sardines in the aisles. Red tags and sales brought them big smiles.

Advertisers went to work, acting on manager's reason. Said the entrepreneur, "Take advantage of the season."

When outside the store there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

As I made my way out, I saw the store owner trolling around. He heard registers ring, and said, "I love that sound!"

Away to the checkout counter, I flew like a flash, as I passed people spending loads of cash.

When what to my suspecting eyes should appear, but a Lexus sleigh and eight well-dressed reindeer.

With a greedy old driver, so sprightly and quick, it looked like the manager dressed like St. Nick.

He was clothed in money from head to toe, and you could tell he loved being covered in dough.

Like ravenous beasts, his assistants they came, and he shouted and squealed and called them by name ...

"Now Greedy Dasher, now Selfish Dancer, now Enterprising Prancer, and Voracious Vixen! On Clever Comet, on Money-Loving Cupid, on Desirous Donder, and Advertising Blitzen - To the top of the market, to the top we must go! We don't have much time, only thr ee weeks to go!"

Comet and Vixen, on orders from the boss, booked five minute appointments with Santa Claus.

With so many paid, white-bearded chaps, Prancer devised a plan to avoid mishaps.

A How-to-Manual filled with rules came from his pen, and he used background checks to verify the character of his men.

Advertising Blitzen sat in the sleigh and pondered new ways to market Christmas in May.

Interpreting dollars and cents was Cupid's forte, and he sat in a corner analyzing sales stats all day.

Dasher loved following market trends as well, and when the stock market broke 6,000, he was happy as hell.

Donder spent his time in the government's face and argued against displaying religious symbols in a public place.

On that note, may I confess, that the merchandising of a religious holiday makes for quite a mess.

For soon after the silvery sleigh had arrived, an angry angel appeared and stood by its side.

The commercialization of Christmas, the angel came to protest. "You have reduced it to a marketing circus," the angel professed.

"You're ruining the holiday, so great and grand, with your advertising schemes and greedy hand."

The manager removed his money-lined hat. "We're here to make money," he said. "What's wrong with that?"

"'Stop using the holiday for profit,' God has yet to holler. We will continue to worship the almighty dollar!"

The angel cried, "Your campaigns disguise the true meaning of the season. Jesus, not Santa, was born. That's the reason!"

"Malls are today's places of worship," the angel said. "Gift giving is important, but the public's misled."

"Why not give the gift of philanthropy this year? Give your money to those who are penniless here."

The manager had a big belly, and it shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.

"Your intentions are admirable thy haloed spirit, but be realistic. I have kids to feed, too. I don't want to hear it."

"You will not listen to me, that is fine. But when your children complain that they want more, consider that a sign."

"They are victims of your merchandising blitz, and you'll realize its negative effects when they throw fits."

"When you forget to buy them that action figure on TV, the wrath you'll face ... hah, you'll see."

"For the amount of money involved, I'll take that chance. We live in a culture of consumption. We're all victims of circumstance."

On that point, the angel had to agree. "No doubt about that, unfortunately."

The manager nodded, and his hat, he put back on his head. "We really must get going. Another store to visit, for business is growing!"

They flew out of sight, and I heard him exclaim, "Happy Christmas to all! Cash or credit, it costs the same!"

Adam Djurdjulov is a journalism senior and Wildcat opinions editor. The column is based on Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas, and yes, it's "Donder."