18 December 2012

That Festive Shopping Time of Year

Shopping will continue to be a part of this festive time of year until....well until money and stores and desires cease to be. So not tomorrow or the next day.
Christmas shopping can be a stressful holiday tradition because literally everybody does it. And this year there was more of it because of the early US Thanksgiving. I have tried to do most of my shopping online but I do run out of time and end up at the stores on Christmas Eve poring over merchandise, speculating what will be the best gift.
I suspect the the Magi who visited the infant Jesus did not have the same dilemmas we do with Christmas shopping. There must have been an unwritten custom on how to give gifts to someone important. Gold and myrhh and francescence are not traditional given in these times. Ipods, Ipads, and Kindles seem to be all the rage. What would I get someone important? I would put much thought into it and look at potential items online and at store. Then I supposed I'd give up and buy a gift card.
Jack Benny riffed the whole Christmas shopping dilemma numerous times on radio and television. It is amazing that he got so much traction out of a simple routine of doubtful dismay and self-debate concerning what type of item to get for an individual or how much to spend or how to personalize an item.
Below is the classic Christmas Shopping episode from the Jack Benny TV Progran.


The episode is nearly a copy of a Jack Benny radio episode recorded in the 1940s. Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny and Barney Rumble and numerous other cartoon characters, is the store clerk in both iterations of the Christmas shopping episode. Another actor- Frank Nelson- also appeared in both as the floor walker. Though Nelson is lesser known by todays audiences- his characterizations still live on.
 

Harry Shearer, one of the voice actors for The Simpson, actually appeared on the Jack Benny Program as a child. He also appeared in a few TV episodes including one where he played Jack Benny as a child.

Hope your Christmas shopping goes well.

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