Dec 14, 2010

"It's the hap-happiest season of all..."

When Chase Bank merged with WaMu (Washington Mutual) here in California, one immediate change was startling. During previous Christmas seasons at the La Habra Branch, the bank's interior had been bustling with colorful decorations and a festive mood. While the changeover was commencing, only poinsettias were allowed. Nothing was permitted the following year.

When I visited a Long Beach Chase branch yesterday, the surrounding neighborhood was festooned with lights, garland, and iconic symbols. I had just finished singing Christmas hits with a 24/7 radio station in my car. 

Inside, I was greeted by engaging employees. The newly remodeled branch was elegant and streamlined, obviously with the intent that nothing but business would interface with its appearance. They chose not to install an audio system, so any type of music was impossible.

It was clear to me that the powers that be had made no provision for Christmas. On an impulse, I pulled out my iPhone and navigated to the 711 Christmas songs in my iTunes app. Within moments, Andy Williams was singing It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. The handsome young man helping me grinned broadly. A female employee, her eyes twinkling, peeked over the top of the cubicle and announced, "I love Christmas music!" Other staff members nodded approval and customers responded warmly as I exited the bank.

What is the corporate world afraid of? If yesterday is any indication of how a little celebration can produce a cheerful atmosphere in a banking institution, then I would think business could only benefit from it. Certainly, the staff was exemplary. Nevertheless, the stark contrast between a world in the throes of Christmas frolic and a sanitized bank is not easy to ignore.


  1. So terribly sad... I for one am tired of all the political correctness and removing God and Christ out of our lives... and not offending this person or that person... what happened to a little magic and happiness when the remaining times of the year we have to deal with the realities of life ... since when is a little fantasy and decoration and fun such a sin?

  2. Too many "bah-humbuggers" around these days. It's a wonderful time of year, a time of celebration....I guess their hearts have become sad..
    Jesus, he'll always be in my heart! !

  3. Perhaps the person who made that decision to snuff out the cheer should himself work during all holidays.

  4. Love this! I've been really pondering about how angry people are getting about the use of Happy Holidays over saying Merry Christmas. This is a good reminder to remember that employees are responsible to their employers. And that saying Merry Christmas can sometimes just be turning your iphone on and playing Christmas music.



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♫ Karen