Wednesday, December 29, 2004

December 29, 2004

An opportunity has been lost. New Year's resolutions could make a buck.

The making of New Year's resolutions is the only modern cultural observance yet to be subverted by avaricious marketers with a view to fleecing us, the unsuspecting public.

The custom has been observed since ancient Babylonian times - when most of the resolutions recorded concerned, not surprisingly considering that culture's fascination with all things agricultural, the returning of borrowed gardening tools.

This makes it older than just about any other of the Big Five: Mother's Day, birthdays, Christmas and Easter. Yet the making of New Year's resolutions remains largely symbolic and uncommercialised.

Strange. How could such an oversight be made given our brave marketers' talent for squeezing a buck out of even the most unlikely of concepts (i.e. the four-blade razor)?

How have they so far failed to exploit the New Year's resolution? Why haven't they conditioned us to feel compelled to buy gifts and cards at this time of the year?

Why are there no New Year's resolution decorations? Where are the movie and fast-food tie-ins?

New Year's resolution cards, for example, could be so much more interesting that the usual tawdry and facile greeting cards we send to each other, and so much more useful, too. Plus, at $4 a card - can you believe we pay that much for a piece of folded card? - they could make someone very rich. (Note to readers: before anyone out there gets any bright ideas, let me slap a great big © on the whole concept.)

Rather than featuring the drooby rhyming noodlings of some bored semi-poet, these cards could actually carry meaningful messages such as:

At this special time of year,
Thinking of you precious dear,
Makes the miles disappear.
PS I'll return the drill on Monday.

These missives could cover the whole greeting card spectrum - from celebration ("woohoo I've found your drill") to bereavement: "At this, the sad passing of your drill (yes, I still can't find it) let us search for consolation in the fact that I'm still pretty confident that I can find your router and maybe even the lawnmower, too, which I'm pretty sure I lent to my brother-in-law."

For a personal touch, each card could finish with a resolute little passage along the lines of the following:

I (insert name) resolve never again to commit (insert misdemeanour) and/or to (circle appropriate) make full restitution/ repair/ return/ refrain from continually borrowing your (insert name of article or family member) signed (the guilty party).

Think of the power of good such well-meant messages, delivered at such a propitious time, could bring to our troubled world.

Think of all the grudges that these cards might dispense with.

Think of all the sins that might, upon the receipt of such a card, then be absolved. Think of all the money someone (me) could make out of them.

And what's more, once signed by the resolver, they'd probably serve as a legal contract, too, so next time they hang on to your ladder for six months you can take the buggers to court and sue them.

But the fun doesn't stop there.

What about New Year's resolution gifts: you don't actually have to spend any money as it's not so much about giving as giving back.

Imagine the smiles on their faces as you return that mountain of borrowed CDs. It's no skin off your nose, seeing that you burned your own copies months ago and, besides, ever since the kids put them in the microwave they don't work so well anyway.

But not all resolutions are about the returning of borrowed items, although many of them are (see the Babylonians); some concern the renouncing of bad habits and the shedding of peccadilloes.

What better way then, to keep that spirit of Christmas giving alive just a little bit longer, than by gift-wrapping those cigarettes and bottles of booze you'll never touch again and giving them to someone weaker than yourself for whom those particular vices are still very much pleasures?

This newly minted New Year's Resolution celebration with its "it's better to give back than receive" air of bonhomie could soon come to rival even Christmas as our most commercialised and thoroughly exploited yearly event, if we're all prepared to work at it.

I, for one, am prepared to give it all I've got.

Many Happy Returnings.


Blogger magz said...

me likey! i think yer on ta something here sis! ( here's yer card)
"I'd shoot yer dawg
If he be Rabid..
So now I'll send ya
My worst habit!"
Please enjoy unwrapping all my booze and cigarettes... but dont open em cause I'm bound to want em back tomorrow....LMAOOOOOO!
My solumn resolution for 2005:
"I resolve to wake up still breathing tomorrow!"

10:21 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...


5:48 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home