Now that the holiday season is upon us, if you happen to watch any television at all you will see ads from many auto companies telling you that you should give someone a car as a gift. Lexus thinks it’s the only way to get to a woman’s heart – didn’t you know that? People unwrapping boxes with keys in them to a new Mercedes, a guy looking out the window to see a new sports car with a bow on top of it – it is all quite silly. In fact, there is even an article over at Motor Trend with advice on buying a car for someone for Christmas! Do people really buy friends and family brand new cars for Christmas? If so, I have the wrong friends and family. (kidding…)
The whole idea of receiving a $25,000 car (or more!) for a holiday present must be an American thing, as I cannot imagine other countries thinking that this would be appropriate. America’s motto seems to be “more, more and more” which probably is tied to our inordinately high levels of depression and criminal activity. We should all be so lucky to get anything for Christmas, never mind a new car…
I think these auto companies are feeding into our consumerist ways and making some people (not me, mind you, and probably not you) feel inadequate in what they can give as a gift. Just like the ads we see on television all year for expensive things that the general public probably cannot afford, these ads are no different – it just happens to be Christmas time and we feel pressure to buy gifts.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to give or receive a gift of any value whatsoever just to make someone feel important or make yourself feel important. Something as simple as a hand-picked CD mix is way more valuable to me than some store-bought gift bought only for the reason of impressing me. Simple=better in my book for the holidays, which is the antithesis of these car commercials. Just don’t fall for it – whatever you can afford or create will be appreciated by the receiver if that person truly values you as a friend or a fellow family member. And just because people on TV get new Lexus SUV’s for Christmas doesn’t mean it actually happens in real life – I mean, I could never let someone else pick out a car for me! 🙂 About the only time I could imagine this being OK is if a parent decided to hand down their old car to their 17 year old as a gift, as I would have loved for that to happen. But dropping $25K + on a Christmas present just is not realistic!