Make this year ‘the one to remember’

Published 11:59 pm Friday, January 2, 2009

Every so often, I’ll see an advertising campaign on TV that strikes me as truly clever. I recently saw such a campaign during the Christmas holiday, as Lexus pitched several ads on TV touting car buyers to make this “The December to Remember.”

You might know the commercials I’m talking about. The ad starts out with grainy footage — like a home movie — of a child at Christmas opening his favorite toy. There’s one where a girl is excited to see that she’s gotten a pony, while a boy is enthusiastic about his brand new video game console and another boy can’t stop riding his new Big Wheel. By the end of the commercial, the child looks the camera straight in the eye and says, “This is definitely the best Christmas…”

At that point, the camera changes to that same child, now a grown-up, who finishes the sentence with the word, “ever,” as he discovers that his spouse just got him a new Lexus for Christmas.

I like these commercials because they really make a point of how innocent we are as children. We exist in our own little worlds and it’s hard for us to see anything other beyond that timeframe.

I can still recall, when I was a kid, some of the various things I wanted to be when I “grew up.” First I was going to be an astronaut, then a math teacher in Australia, then an NBA three-point shooting wizard. I even dabbled with the idea of becoming a priest — I have vivid memories of “playing Mass” for my brother and sister. Obviously, I never did become any of those things, but when I was a child it was easy to imagine any possibility.

I also can’t help but laugh when I consider how scared I was to drive, when I was younger. While most children probably can’t wait until they can get their first driver’s license, I was scared to death of having to one day get on the road in my own vehicle. I remember telling my mom, when I was about 10 or 11, that I would just ride a bike everywhere when I grew up.

Obviously, my phobia of driving didn’t last through my teenage years. In fact, I’ve gotten to the point where I like taking long trips where it’s just me and my XM radio — I’ll be taking one of them this morning as I drive to Biloxi to see my parents and enjoy a bit of gambling. (Oh, by the way, that’s something that I did look forward to as a kid. I still might have the toy slot machine and roulette wheel that my parents once got for me after they returned home from a trip to Vegas.)

I’ll turn 26 later this month, and although I’m technically not a “kid” anymore, I can still see that I’ve got some of that same live-in-the-now innocence. I don’t have any idea where I’m going to be five years from now, or heck, even by this time next year. Right now, I’m just enjoying everything that I can and trying to make the most out of every moment I have.

I think it’s a good lesson for all of us to follow as we enter this new year. Make this year one where by Dec. 31, 2009, you’ll be saying “There’s no way that any year could top this one.”

And then, in 2010, have one that’s even better.