Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why Christmas In Los Angeles is NOT Overly-Commercialized Enough!

Below is just  the opening of my latest Huffington Post Column.  You can read all of it at the above link.

Why Can't Los Angeles Over-Commercialize Christmas Better?

In a seeming attempt to surpass LA Times columnist Joel Stein in hate mail and death threats, fellow LA Times columnist Gregory Rodriguez recently wrote that this biggest problem with Christmas isn't that it's overly-commercialized - but that he has to listen to annoying people whine about how over-commercialized Christmas is.

And Greg, as usual, has a valid point, once he qualified he was talking about only one of the two different Christmases's celebrated in this country.

First, of course, there's the centuries old Christian holiday observed in the churches. Then there's the 19th Century Christmas shopping holiday observed in the shopping malls that has now become the world's largest economic event. It is also an economic event that Los Angeles must take better advantage of if we are ever going to pay for this city's coming billions of dollars of deficits.

Unfortunately, not only can't the leaders of Los Angeles ever properly implement even basic economic development projects - but we can't even properly commercialize, much less properly overly-commercialize, Christmas.

Contrasting the holiday displays in the shopping districts of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica or Pasadena will those in LA will quickly show why we are less unsuccessful in attracting Christmas shoppers and their lucrative sales tax revenues.

But still, much as Scrooge needed Marley to show him how to properly celebrate the true Christmas of his day - even I who already well knew the economic realities facing Los Angeles never fully understood how much the true over-commercialization of Christmas was needed in our city until one of the saddest days of my life.
That was the day my mother - whose favorite time of the year was always the entire Christmas season - was taken off her cancer treatments by her doctors so she could enjoy her final months in relative comfort. That was also the day I decided to take her to New York for her first - and last - Christmas Week in that city...

(the rest is at the above link)
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