`Tis the Season

Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee

I like to think that I’m above marketing and advertising. Whoever invented the Mute button on the remote control should be canonized and when YA was younger I would routinely tell her that if you see it on TV it’s probably a lie.

But I never reckoned on seasonal marketing. When I was a kid, M&Ms were the same color all year round. Oreos were filled with white stuffing no matter the month and Ivory Soap was always in the same wrapper even on holidays. Not now!

So many products jump on the seasonal bandwagon: pasta, paper towels, soap dispenser, beer, pop, candy of all kinds and, of course, Oreos. I never even used to buy Oreos at all (I’m a Hydrox gal) but now I can’t keep away from them when they show up in stores with spring filling or green or the holiday red. Easter M&Ms, pasta in the shape of pumpkins or flags, Ritz crackers in the shapes of snowflakes, red and green tortilla chips, paper towels with bunnies and chicks or ghosts and goblins– I just can’t resist.

So I’ve finally succumbed to the realization that seasonal marketing has me licked and I don’t try to fight it. Yesterday alone I bought Hershey’s kisses in red & green foil, paper towels with snowmen and snowflakes, pasta in holiday shapes and snowflake crackers. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Do you have any seasonal favorites?

78 thoughts on “`Tis the Season”

  1. thats really funny. i am oblivious. i guess i knew hershey kisses came in seasonal wrappers but i dont buy them so i dont think about it. its not that i fight the urge, i dont even think about it.

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  2. I barely (and not always) decorate for holidays, much less buy everyday sorts of things because of the wrappings. Perhaps I have a bit of Scrooge in me…

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  3. I consume no type of food that is marketed seasonally. My main beverage is V8, and they don’t have holiday colors for that. My usual lunch is a simple lettuce and tomato salad. It is green and sort of red, but that doesn’t change with the seasons.

    And yet I have a consumption pattern that does change with the seasons. In my mid-70s I have accepted the fact I am a romantic, sentimental old fool. I make a feeble attempt to moderate that tendency eleven months out of twelve. But during these holidays I give up on that resistance and indulge in sappy TV shows, the equivalent of red and green M&Ms.

    I really binged last night, watching Anne of Green Gables while weeping like a silly teenage girl. Then I watched Pollyanna and really got wet. It seems like there must be about twenty or thirty different Hallmark Christmas movies, all of which have essentially the same plot. People behave badly. Then, influenced by seasonal good will, they suddenly turn as sentimental as a Hallmark card. In the next weeks I’ll re-watch many (or most) of these films, tissue box nearby. It’s just lucky you guys don’t ever witness this. You’d be disgusted!

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    1. Hallmark has been running their 30 Christmas movies for about three weeks – 24/7. While I do like my share of sappy movies, these holiday ones aren’t my cup of tea.

      I’m pretty strict with myself about holiday movies – I have a big stack of videos and DVDs but I don’t bring them out until TODAY! I have many versions of A Christmas Carol along with other favorites and I’ll see all of them in the coming days.

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      1. We would re-watch several holiday movies each year. One was a nice adaptation of the Raymond Briggs snowman story. We’d watch A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story and even Holiday Inn. My daughter treasured a NPR treatment of Dylan Thomas’ Christmas poem. Our very favorite was that wonderful version of A Christmas Memory, the one with Geraldine Page as Sook and Truman Capote himself as the narrator.

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        1. Darling Daughter found White Christmas on Netflix and has that running even as I type…it’s not one in our regular holiday movie rotation, so she seemed surprised that I knew it and have been singing along.

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      1. No. this Polyanna is a more recent (2005?) version. It’s actually very well done.

        The version of Anne of G G they just ran was strange. There was something technically wrong that caused the film to have weird colors. I think it was a Canadian production, and maybe there was an issue with the film’s color standards. The one true actress for Anne was Meghan Follows, just as Sean Connery was the one true 007.

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        1. I just streamed the Anne of GG one and agree that technically it was weird. It seemed that the camera work was less than professional and the colors looked a bit off to me, too.

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  4. Mostly the holiday packaging just makes me mad, but I will admit that I get tempted to buy them as gifts – holiday Oreos, say, for my mom. I have probably succumbed to red and green M & Ms. And I may be guilty of getting a little compact Kleenex box or two – but then I save them with the Christmas decorations, refill them when they run out. (Oh, aren’t we amazing little creatures?)

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  5. Yesterday we had sweet potatoes with pumpkin spice marshmallows on top. The marshmallows were a sort of orangey- brown and shaped like pumpkins. The dilemma was what to do with the rest of the bag, since you only use about a third of them on the sweet potatoes. We decided they’ll be good in cocoa.

    The pumpkin spice marshmallow discussion led to some conversation about seasonal marketing in general. M&M’s were mentioned. You used to have a choice of plain or peanut. Now there’s peanut butter pumpkin spice mocha caramel sea salt lime creme brulee peppermint cherry amaretto pomegranate everything on the candy aisle.

    I’m told the TJ’s peppermint Jo-Jo’s are not to be missed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Linda, I wish you hadn’t told me about the TJ peppermint Jo-Jos. I’ve resisted the urge to buy them so far.

      I bet the pumpkin spice marshmallows would be good in s’mores.

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  6. My seasonal weakness is truly horrible…I go straight for the Peeps. There is nothing redeeming about a Peep. They are sugar and chemicals and artificial coloring. But I can’t resist them. Bunnies, pumpkins, snow men…I have even been known to stop in at the Peeps store at MOA for flavored ones (the birthday cake ones are a weakness – those ones also have a festive confetti look about them).

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    1. I have a special Peeps memory. For us, Peeps were an Easter thing. We never had them at Christmas. One Easter when my daughter was about three years old she walked around our living room discovering candy eggs and stuffing them in her Easter basket. Mixed in with the candy eggs (small jelly bean things) were two dozen Peeps, and they of course were the most exciting treat. As my daughter toddled around finding these things I walked right behind her, covertly taking Peeps out of her basket and hiding them again. She went around the room three times, always “finding” Peeps as she went, and she didn’t figure out that she had discovered six dozen Peeps but only 24 were in her basket. Well, she still isn’t very good at math!

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    2. Peeps are about the only seasonal item I don’t fall for. But that’s only because they’re not vegetarian. Otherwise I’d be in trouble there too.

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        1. Nope. You can get them year ’round if you know where to look. Otherwise, just pop into the “seasonal” aisle at Walgreens when there is Halloween, Christmas, or St. Gerald the Guinea Pig stuff out (I may have made that last one up)…

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  7. My seasonal favorite, hands down, is reading Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. I love that story. I read it out loud to the animals. Martha is oblivious, but Bernie like’s to snuggle close and enjoys the attention.

    O.T. At yesterday’s Thanksgiving feast, among the guests was a remarkable couple I hadn’t met before. He, a retired cardiac surgeon and professor at the U of M. He is 100 years old, and sharp as a tack. He doesn’t wear glasses or need a hearing aid, and has all of his teeth, still. Walks without a cane, and still drives a car. When I asked what he attributed his longevity to he said: good genes and everything in moderation. His wife is 95, but looked to be my age. While I’ve known other 100 year olds, they have always been pretty frail, more or less dilapidated, and often had memory issues, as well. These two were amazing.

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  8. I always fall for the white chocolate striped peppetmint Hershey’s kisses.

    Husband says every year that he isn’t going to decorate outside for Christmas, and , every year, he decorates. His choice this year is pretty funny, I think, but I haven’t the heart to tell him . He bought about 10 LED solar candles that blink and stick in the ground and are about 3 feet high. They line the walk up to our front steps. They look like blinking penises on sticks. He thinks they look great. I don’t know what the neighbors think.

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  9. The only seasonally-affected product purchase (SAPP) disorder I can think of at our house is triggered by annual appearance of Cadbury mini eggs (they may not call them eggs at Christmas). Through some sort of marketing cunning or inexplicable restraint, the little M&M -like balls of chocolate covered by a candy shell are only in the stores at Christmas and Easter. Although Cadbury, at least in America, is owned by M&M, the chocolate in the eggs is notably superior to their M&M cousins. During their windows of availability, we tend to have several bags stashed.
    The Easter ones are pastel colored and ovoid, the Christmas ones round and red, white and green. They are a popular, successful product. So why, you might ask, are there not red and white ones for Valentines Day, red, white and blue ones for Independence Day and Orange and black ones for Halloween? An imponderable, if you ask me.

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    1. Uh-oh! I was just going to add the Cadbury Easter Eggs to my guilty seasonal pleasures, and I always have to use much RESTRAINT when I can find them. And now you tell me they are around at Christmas… (If they are cousins to M & Ms, they are very distant cousins, several times removed.)

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      1. On reflection, I think I conflated M&M Mars with Hershey’s. Cadbury is distributed in the US by Hershey’s, not M&M. So the Cadbury balls of shame are not cousins of M&Ms after all.

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    1. I’m sometimes tempted by those cartons of eggnog, but have been disappointed by it the few times I’ve had it. Homemade is the way to go. And pretty easy, too, if I remember correctly.

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    1. I love the Muppets Christmas Carol!! Right next to the old B&W Christmas Carol with the British actor Alastair Sim. Those two are the best ones.

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    2. I love this one – but then I find myself singing that song for days afterward. Since just thinking about it already has it in my brain, here it is for the rest of you to have as an earworm.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I generally tend to avoid decorating and buying seasonal packages of sweets, although I do enjoy the occasional seasonal M&M’s and Hershey’s Kisses. I used to work in marketing and I’ve worked a lot in Corporate America, so I’ve made myself {mostly} immune to these ploys. But like Steve and others, I am a total sucker for the older sentimental Christmas movies. Although I’ve seen a few of the newer Christmas movies, they are usually disappointing. Except I love Jim Carrey in the more recent “Grinch” movie.– that is hilarious and the reason why he came back was much more convincing. Plus the costumes and sets are wonderful and right out of the books. Interesting tidbit: the smaller parts and townsfolk were performed by Cirque de Soleil, I believe.

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  11. Sandy goes all out on everything: decorations, shopping, music, cheesy movies including Hallmark, some baking but not as much, cards, etc. Over the years it has rather numbed me to the season.

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  12. We , we in quote marks, a couple versions of Christmas Carol. I read it each year. I have never seen a version that matches the story the way I wan tit to.

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    1. I like them all – I even like Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. It’s interesting (for me anyway) to see the differences, especially when they stray off the path of the initial story. I think my favorite is Patrick Stewart’s version.

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  13. I am fairly immune to the seasonal merchandise, but some of the stuff at Trader Joe’s this time of year is awfully tempting. It just looks so darn good. I suppose part of that is that I try to stay out of stores as much as possible during the “holiday season,” but I can’t stop buying food for an entire month, so I see the stuff at TJ’s a lot more than I see the stuff elsewhere.

    Also, these look awfully tempting. I’m pretty sure that if I was in Seattle right now, I would visit the store and stock up:

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  14. Hi there–

    I got the Amish Friendship starter out last week. A little late this year but with all the math homework I had to let that slide a bit.
    (one thing about my evening math class; we have a lot of treats. The teacher started it by bringing left over Halloween candy. We had class last Wednesday, right before Thanksgiving. One girl bought a pan of bars she had made and another had chocolate covered pretzels and a large box of assorted chocolates. So I had to get the starter out so I could get a batch to class before it ends on 12/14.)

    Christmas Eve used to be at Kelly’s aunt and uncles home and they always had some great treats; punch and dip and bars that I only got there. That tradition has ended but we kept some of the foods.

    December 7 will begin my week of Christmas concerts at the college. I’ve added some new music to my ‘anti-Christmas music’ playlist to counter it…
    This was the last song I added:

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think I need to put together a fresh starter…my friendship bread starter has sat a bit too long and, well, it doesn’t look good. Daughter wants friendship bread, so will start fresh.

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  15. 9 big fat turkeys walked right under my window. they left and now came back. Their feet are muddy which picks up leaves. They look like they are wearing snowshoes. Then they took off in panic, flapping their wings. No idea why.

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  16. Seasonal favorites not tied to advertising:

    Winter
    * Christmas cookies (I make nutmeg logs, chocolate truffle cookies, spiced nuts, coffee-walnut toffee, and sometimes pfeffernuse).
    * Snow

    Spring:
    * Rain
    * Rhubarb and chives coming up
    * First leaves coming out

    Summer:
    * Thunderstorms
    * Raspberries, black currants, strawberries….
    * Farmers Market

    Autumn
    * Cloudy days
    * Tamaracks
    * Blue skies (the blue seems to be brighter and more intense in the fall)

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  17. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I am back from the Thanksgiving family wedding and pie fest, which was filled with seasonal favorites, none of them marketed via a brand. The joy of the bride (my niece) and groom, is an unmarketable product.

    The lemon meringue pie was the big success. Despite being a bit runny, the flavor and the meringue were right on. Limoncello, direct from Italy is the secret. My feet and back hurt, too.

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  18. Clyde is correct. We are bracing to get buried in snow. Whenever we had a snow day when I was a child, my mom made waffles from scratch. While we will get lots of snow , it is doubtful that work will be cancelled. We are an intrepid bunch here. Once I skiied to work. Workis only cancelled wjen the University where we are housed closes, that never happens.

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  19. I struggle to understand weather forecasts in Oregon. In Iowa and Minnesota, the climate for the whole area was essentially the same, only the northern areas were coldest. Individual storms did what they did, but that was a matter of chance, and winter storms were not very different from west to east or north to south.

    Everything here is complicated. Here we have high country and low country, mountains and valleys and flat semi-desert regions. There is already heavy snow in the high mountains, but we haven’t seen a flake in this valley. The coast gets one sort of weather, the mountains get another sort, the great plains of the east get something else and weather in the Columbia River gorge is entirely different.

    In the Midwest birds migrate by moving north and south. Here many of them stay in more or less the same locality but go up or down the mountains. My bird feeder is currently being mobbed by juncos that were here in spring but spent the summer high up in the mountains.

    My daughter, a child of the Upper Midwest, is nostalgic for thunderstorms, sunlight and snow. I’ve not been here that long. I saw enough snow in my last two winters to do me for a long time.

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