Dec 17, 201309:00 AMPoint of View

Signgeist 4: Truth in (Seasonal) Advertising

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Other roadside signs involve cutting a shape out of a sheet of plywood, painting it green, and embellishing it with a bit more information like a price and a touch of snow.

All photos courtesy David Vanden-Eynden, except where noted

Some signs are more stylized, reducing the tree form to a simple geometrical shape and adding the enticing word “Fresh” to make the sale.

Courtesy of David Vanden-Eynden

Humble honesty is reflected in this example. The humanistic touch here, aside from the imagery, is the addition of lights connected by a long, long string of extension cords—and the bonus apostrophe.

True, many of the images we see at the holidays are cutesy or simplistic: puppies and kittens wearing Santa hats, penguins with scarves, elves and reindeer and giant candy canes. However, some images can be a bit unsettling. The walking/talking Christmas trees in particular are a little frightening—close your eyes and imagine a smiling, talking pine tree coming closer, closer, closer...

But it is not only tree growers that get in on the act. Folks selling fruit, flowers, pies, grave blankets, and wreaths are all part of the holiday marketplace, red, green, and white featured prominently.

Like a handwritten letter or package from home, there is something comforting about simple, handmade signs. Gotta love the string of lights and the bow as the dot for the exclamation mark!

Courtesy of Linda Jones

But this is what the season is about, isn't it? (Not the stalking pine tree, the other stuff...) It is about sharing, about family, about giving. And while the chaos of the season is a bit much at times, it is the simple gestures that really matter and that are a reflection of something we all have in common--the honest and true spirit of the holiday season. Everyone can get in on it. Everyone plays a part. And, it’s affordable to all!

So, as the season swings into full mayhem mode, let’s do a few things together. Let’s keep it honest, keep it simple, keep it real.

Happy Holidays!

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