Nobles: Nordstrom, for resisting the temptation to cheapen the spirit of the holiday season.
Capitalism is a very good thing. During the holidays, however, the spirit of capitalism — in all its efficient beauty — has the tendency to lessen the spirit of the season. That’s because retailers like Nordstrom are under tremendous pressure to get ahead of the holiday shopping curve. The result is that malls begin sporting St. Nick and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer even before Halloween’s ghosts are put back in their coffins.
It’s refreshing, then, that for the past 100 years Nordstrom has maintained a policy of waiting to unleash the tinsel until after Thanksgiving. “We believe in celebrating each holiday in its entirety before moving on to the next one,” Nordstrom spokesman John Bailey told Times reporter Jen Haberkorn. It’s a good policy.
Every season has its own unique qualities which create a sense of longing, and none more so than Christmas. But when retailers try to capitalize on shoppers’ impatience, not only is something of the current season lost, but the season to come isn’t as special. Just as all children know Santa Claus won’t come until after they’ve gone to sleep, the best rewards are those for which we must wait.
For slowing down life’s hectic pace, Nordstrom is the Noble of the week.
Knaves: Rep. William Delahunt, Massachusetts Democrat, for consorting with America’s enemies.
Mr. Delahunt has found a new way to bring home the pork: Get it from foreign dictators like Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez. The leftist thug and dear friend of Fidel Castro found a willing business partner in Mr. Delahunt, with whom he negotiated a deal to supply low-income Massachusetts residents with discounted heating oil. Any concerns the congressman might have had about dealing with one of the most virulent critics of the United States were apparently forgotten as he posed for reporters outside the home of a constituent who will receive the discount.
A Delahunt spokesman told the Boston Globe that Mr. Chavez showed “an inclination to do a humanitarian distribution” of oil. Truly, a despot with a heart of gold. Why, just a week ago, Mr. Chavez was saying that “the people of the United States are governed by a murderer — a crazy man,” referring to President Bush.
In the high-stakes game of Washington politics, Mr. Delahunt obviously lives by the rule “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
For losing all sense of perspective, Mr. Delahunt is the Knave of the week.