Merry Christmas Everybody! A Short Story

by Alison Xin

The Head of Marketing announced a pop-up meeting on November 1st. More than half of those who showed up looked absolutely demolished, probably from staying up too late going to trashy Halloween parties. Too bad, but the machine of capitalism doesn’t stop for anybody.

One of the new guys — Jake or something generic like that — raised his hand. “Uh, sir, why is the boardroom covered in tinsel?”

Jake received a condescending smile in response. “For Christmas, of course.” The Head of Marketing paused a moment, looking thoughtful. “Actually, for any winter holiday. We wouldn’t want to alienate any of our consumer base.”

“But with all due respect, it’s November –”

“Anyway! Let’s start the meeting!”

On cue, every member of the board pulled out a Santa hat.

“Was there a memo, or something–” Jake panicked, looking confused.

“Samantha, how are you doing with social media?”

The woman in question immediately raised her eyes up from her laptop. “All good, sir. YouTube ads were live at 11:59 PM on October 31st, #christmas and #holidays are quickly rising in trending due to the combined actions of our associates.”

“How about more traditional media?”

Mark sat up straighter on cue. “Radio stations have been hijacked with the regular playlist. Ads have gone up on billboards 11A, 24B, and 30C, with the next 5 going up within a week. T.V. ads are airing on most cable channels.”

“Additionally”, David from public relations added, “we’ve already funded the city hall to start putting up wreaths on Main Street and Christmas lights around the public park.”

“Excellent! …Jake, is there a problem?”

The man had crouched over the table, rubbing his temples. “No, it’s just…excessive.”

“Excessive? We’re just getting into the Holiday spirit, warming up the consumers.”

“But everyone hates it!” Jake protested, wringing his hands. “Nobody wants to be bombarded with ads, no matter how positive the association.”

“Jake, my boy–”

“–actually, it’s Jack–”

“You’re going to learn something very important today, and that’s the concept of voting with your wallet. And everybody’s wallets tell them to purchase a $400 T.V. when they go on sale. They just need the reminder.”

“Don’t worry, Jake –”

“Jack.”

“A few months here will break your spirit,” David confided, with a smile.

“What.”

“He means enhance your appreciation of the holiday spirit,” corrected the Head of Marketing, shooting a quick glare at David, who replied with a flippant shrug. “Anyway, good work everybody, meeting dismissed.” As the employees filed out of the boardroom, the Head of Marketing signed Jake up for Compulsory Employee Reconditioning.