On 14th November, I saw a truck on the A75 loaded with Christmas trees. TV news this morning was full of stories of Christmas lights being switched on. It’s impossible to find what you’re looking for in most shops because they’ve moved everything around to make way for shelf after shelf of Christmas tatt. It’s still more than a month until Christmas!
I’m not exactly antediluvian, but I remember that when I was young my father worked until lunchtime on Christmas Day, if it fell on a weekday – that was quite normal in Scotland, not only in shops but in offices.
What has happened to us, that we can’t wait until Christmas to celebrate Christmas? Easy answer: John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc have happened to us. No semblance of a traditional festival (whether you’re Christian, pagan, or anything else). Commerce, not-so-pure and simple. At a time when it’s been flagged up that the UK is carrying a dangerous and unprecedented load of personal debt – a time-bomb of personal debt, in fact – how immoral is it for the retail and hospitality industries to start putting the squeeze on us from the middle of November?
How many of us can keep up the “Festive Spirit” for forty days?
This is MY Christmas tree. I’ll bring him into our less-heated hallway around 22nd December, to acclimatise, then into the sitting room on 24th December, to be decorated. Around 3rd January, he’ll go back out (again via the hallway for a day or two), and he’ll live in the garden until next 22nd December. After that, I may take pity on him, plant him in the ground, and start over. He cost me £5, and this is his 5th Christmas – admittedly, in the first two years, he didn’t exactly hold many decorations, and the shortest string of lights was more than long enough.