Editor’s note: I wrote this early last week. The pictures that illustrated it would not load onto the blog. Again the next day, they refused to load. I set it aside and didn’t try again to post this or anything else until now. I was busy, and didn’t need the aggravation. But rather than let it sit in oblivion, I’m posting the blasted thing now, before writing anything else. And you know what? Even though it’s now Dec. 30, I’m backdating this sucker to before Christmas.
Those of you waiting for Brad to comment on something you consider “relevant” will just have to wait a bit longer. I’m busy.
But this question is timely and urgent, so I thought I’d ask: What’s with this image meme I’ve been seeing everywhere, with the red pickup truck with a Christmas tree in it?
Sometimes the tree is decorated (for reasons that completely evade me), and sometimes it seems fresh-cut from the forest. Sometimes the truck has wooden slats added to the sides of the bed; sometimes it does not.
But it’s everywhere. In these pictures alone, you see ones I’ve encountered in widely different venues. From top to bottom, they are:
- A napkin from (I think) Publix.
- A gift bag at Walmart.
- Two other items that were at Walmart in the gift-wrap area.
- An image in the L.L. Bean catalog.
- A card placed in a live plant.
- A decoration standing in the yard of a neighbor.
The answer is probably obvious to everyone except me, and that’s fine: That’s why I’m asking you.
During my lifetime I’ve figured out most things that we see over and over and over again this time of year:
- Frosty the Snowman. (But what this has to do with Christmas, I still don’t know. I can see how it has to do with the season, but only if you live way up north.)
- The Grinch.
- Buddy the Elf.
- The Elf on the Shelf. (This one took me awhile, since I no longer had small children at home when the promotion came along, but I eventually figured it out. By the way: Marketing materials for this thing call it “A Christmas Tradition.” There’s nothing traditional about it. It was invented in 2005.)
Anyway, if you can tell me where this came from, I’d appreciate it. A cartoon? A song? A movie? A video game? Not knowing bugs me. The whole thing even seems a bit intrusive to me, since I drive an old, red pickup truck myself. I mean, if anyone knows, I should. But I don’t.
I think they feel comforting to all kinds of folks. Also, Christmas junk that women can buy, telling themselves guys will like it. Also, it’s like a 50 year update on the sleigh motif, but still old enough to look nostalgic.
There is a lot that I have become offended about with Christmas and retailing, but these don’t move that needle for me.