Friday, November 03, 2006

Merry Christmas Shoppers !

The weather has just changed in London. We have had a long warm summer and autumn. However in the last week the nights have turned frosty, ice has been left on car windscreens and we have a taste of winter.

At the same time Christmas (in its commercial sense) is being aggressively pushed by the shops. Horrific adverts for Woolworths fill our TV screens. The agenda is the same as ever. We should all buy from the shops to show we care for our family and friends.

We can buy with cash, card or on credit but this one day now becomes the focus of all commerce. The aim of all advertising is to extract as much money as possible from us. The consequences can wait until New Year (a mere 8 weeks away).

This of course is a long way from the real meaning of Christmas which is to celebrate the birth of the Messiah. Christmas has of course become a festival that has meaning in family life, the life of friends and our working lives. Everyone attaches their own meanings to Christmas time.

However it is worth sometimes remembering why we started celebrating Christmas. If that means nothing to you, then why not party at a cheaper time of year- Yon Kippur, Eid or Diwali for instance. The prices will be lower and you will look more original !

If Christmas really does mean something, then remember that God's only son was born as man and maybe remind yourself of some more details to this story. There is however no need to go into debt at Woolworths or Harrods.

Christmas Day is normally a blur of late rising, an enormous meal and bad television. Boxing Day often comes as a relief but perhaps I am Ebeneezer Scrooge. I have found some relief from spending the last two Christmas's in the Orthodox World so 25 December is just another day there with the focus on January 6. The date does not seem to matter too much but the over-powering commercial build-up to December 25 seems to get grosser every year.

Somewhere along the way, the Christmas mask slipped for me. I saw the crude commercialism, the contradiction between Christmas Past and Christmas Present and realised I didn't really like what I saw.

Of course I am still obliged to "show willing" by buying a few presents for nearest and dearest. But this normally waits until at least 23 December.

When it comes in 7 or so weeks, I wish you all a happy Christmas. However I hope that Christmas Future will be less commercial and not send us all into debt. There is no point in paying for one day of excess until the middle of the next year.

I fear that my Christmas Future may just be a dream !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

bah humbug !