So you’re listening to the whizzes and bangs screaming merrily outside your window? A flash of brightly coloured light illuminates a room signalling only one thing….it’s christmas right???
Once upon a time when i was about knee high, i remember a time when christmas began in December. As soon as the calendar clicked round to the magical date of the 1st we knew we could start looking forward to that distant day that Santa came to visit. Few tv adverts and the shops did not start to decorate and sell their wares until the magical date of the 1st came along. With this modern day of materialism and consumerism comes a new form of ‘christmas’ that actually begins sometime in March. Where once before the shelves would have been devoid of anything remotely festive there now lurked a small stash of post christmas goodies overstocked by the stores in hopeful abundance. Nestling colourfully next to already long present Easter eggs and fluffy bunnies, the post season miscreants sit dolefully waiting for some cash strapped bargain hunter to snap them up.
Forward a few months to September. Yes you read right…September and supermarket shelves are stealthily filling with christmas goodies and the usual tinned chocolate mountain lies in wait at the entrance to every store. Overhead banners scream out ‘start saving now for christmas’ making you double take and check that it really is September. Further forward to Halloween and the subtle displays have spawned like a fed post midnight Mogwai leaving a vast array of gifts, confectionary and general festive season frippery weaving its way like some madly growing triffid around every store.
A shame for you then if you dearly wish to be of the old school variety and keep Christmas firmly in December where it belongs. No escape as every corner assaults your senses with some promotion or other making it an impossible feat to avoid them. Forward to Bonfire night when thoughts should be of Guy Fawkes, fireworks and cinder toffee but instead brings the advent of the christmas tv advert. ”Buy your sofa now in time for christmas” it chirps enticingly, whilst little blue aliens on a snowy screen remind us of all those things we do not need but will want anyway just because we’re supposed to. As the gunpowder pops and bangs outside my door i see yet more gift adverts followed by yet more for festive food. Already wearing thin i can feel myself mentally sighing ‘humbug’
I love Christmas do not get me wrong. Perhaps these days though the enjoyment and fun of it all has been gradually eaten away by a never before felt kind of pressure and a commercialism that detracts from the day in a very big way. Me, i think i shall continue to ignore the oh so early signs and continue as i did as a child. My countdown to christmas will begin two weeks before the day and only then will my youthful enjoyment break free and let me again enjoy the day. Sometimes i think we are so controlled by the power of advertising that by the time the event arrives we forget to enjoy it, but instead just heave a sigh of relief that it is over.
Jingle bells?? I dont think so!