12.19.13Alan Harris

Santa is Blue this Christmas! The New Norm?

Sad Santa
Santa is blue this Christmas, but not because he is sad. Will a Blue Santa be the New Norm?

Photo Courtesy Lester Public Library

Don’t worry Santa is not depressed, nor has he suddenly decided to take up the Blue Crusade for Water…though Richard certainly has Santa scurrying to fulfill his water management wishes. Santa is blue this year because WestJet Airlines decided to put Santa in a blue suit for what can only be described as an absolutely brilliant and heart touching marketing campaign with over 30 million views. If you have not seen the video, be sure to have a box of Kleenex handy.

My old college roommate was talking about the WestJet video and commented he didn’t even mind that Santa was dressed in a WestJet blue colored suit instead of the “traditional” red we know, love and adore. However, Santa wasn’t always quite so jolly or so red. Prior to the 1920’s, Santa image varied throughout different regions and cultures. Sometimes he was portrayed as an elf-like, spooky or scary character in colors ranging from black to purple to green and a dull red. Quite different than what we considered to be “normal” today.

Norman Rockwell began to depict Santa with more human characters and dressed in red in 1920 for the Saturday Evening Post. Then in the 1930’s, the rotund, jolly, rosy cheeked, Santa dressed in red was introduced to the public by artist Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola. Due to the popularity of the campaign, Coca-Cola continued with the same artist for the next three decades. Each subsequent year, the concept of what defined the “normal” Santa was reinforced to the point where today we can only consider jolly old St Nick dressed in red as the accepted standard.

The New Norm of Water

Now back to the Blue Crusade for Water. Every time a post about water management or water conservation is read and every time an irrigation system is designed or retrofitted with smart controllers, flow meters and high efficiency heads, we inch closer to what we believe will be the new norm for water. How long it takes to establish the new norm is up to you and the actions you take.

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7 Other New Norms

Here are a few new norms at some point in in my lifetime were not the norm and may soon no longer be the norm

  1. Milk in plastic containers and soon to go back to glass (just wishing)
  2. Unleaded Gasoline transitioning to hopefully something other than electric
  3. Compact Discs transitioning to digital downloads (and I still have over 3000 vinyl records)
  4. Cell phones transitioning to smart phones
  5. Laptop computers transitioning to tablets
  6. Broadcast TV now transitioning to On Demand and online.
  7. Then there is also Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter transitioning to…time will tell. 

What new norms have you seen in your lifetime?


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Alan Harris

Alan Harris is a water management pioneer. With roots in landscape architecture, Alan has worked with irrigation throughout his career experimenting with hydrozones and a variety of high efficiency irrigation systems. Now, over thirty years in the landscape industry, Alan continues to stay apprised of the latest technology even in a sales leadership capacity as our Director of Sales Operations and Regional Sales Leader for our landscape maintenance division. In addition to his contributions to this blog, Alan keeps his hand in water management as a regular contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine.


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  1. Friday, 8:56 Martha Golea

    Believe it or not, students with laptops was not the norm when I was in college (2003-2006). Most of us had to go to the library to use a computer with internet! It’s hard to believe how much connectivity has changed in the last 10 years.
    I also remember (just barely) when you had to go to a store or a car dealership and talk to a salesperson to learn more about an item you planned to buy, before researching online was the norm.
    And just for good measure: I remember when people made their own coffee, back before injecting Starbucks directly into your blood stream was the norm. :)
    Merry Christmas, Bloggers. May all your sustainable-future dreams come true.

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