What are you giving?

As a seminarian married to an undergraduate the television acts as a filler in our home more so than entertainment; it is the occasional background noise to whatever else is happening. Of course, we have television shows we enjoy. However, we usually miss those academics, and real life take precedent.

As my husband tinkers and plans his writing. I am still hanging out with some theologians; I have been reading and hope to read more this break however my aggressive reading list probably means my thirst is more than my time will permit. In the midst of the reading, tinkering, writing, working, and ministry planning the television plays in the background, a backdrop to the day, definitely not center stage.

In the rare moments where one or both of us is more tuned to television it usually as to do with the commercials. Commercials are a different experience for us since we rarely ever see the first airing of anything we skip commercials, our streaming accounts, and DVD’s do not run commercials mid-program, yet. I imagine that even paid streaming will eventually run commercials in some way or another, running the odds on how consumers tend to get shafted before too long. So this season Honda and Target have my attention. No, we are not running out to buy a new Honda and or running to Target for that matter.

The Happy Honda Days campaign has my attention because I am a bit nostalgic, and aptly say “well played” Honda. Not lost on marketers that the generation that played with the featured 80s toys or toys that resemble those familiar toys are now the car buying, somewhat grown-up public. These ads are fun they have my attention, I have viewed the commercials and appreciate the fact that viewing and sharing are attached to a corporate giving campaign.

In contrast, the What D’ya Get campaign makes my stomach churn. We adults and children alike do not need any more help being selfish or competitive. In the world where church groups seemingly compete to see who can have the best Christmas party. People feel obligated to apologize for not sending out Christmas cards. Neighborhoods mandate and regulate Christmas lights and so on, I just do not believe we need to make space on the airwaves for a What D’ya Get advertisement. I understand it is business, and I am probably one of only a minuscule fraction of the buying public who is turned off by this advertisement. It was probably designed to play on the societal sensitivity to not be outdone, to make sure that your family can top what everybody else got.

Sales reports will show if either of these campaigns is successful.

In life and business, I am not interested in what any of my friends and family are getting, I will not be asking what d’ya get? I may ask you what d’ya give? And it is not about giving monetarily. It is about being thoughtful and intentional about what you give in life, or a smile or a hug can be life-changing for the recipient. Time means the world to aging parents and growing children, and being present truly present in our daily experiences in priceless. I encourage everyone who finds his or her way to this blog post to ALWAYS give generously and graciously the things that money cannot buy.

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