Skip to main content

Bah Humbug


I realise that I'm going to come across like a great big Scrooge here, but I have to admit to being totally Chrismas-ed out. It's only just turned December and I'm already suffering from seasonal overload.

I barely got used to summer being over before the first Christmas ads started muscling in during commercial breaks, tacky tinsle crept into the supermarket aisles and the aural assault of piped Christmas carols started making itself felt in shopping centres. I mean, come on! Is it really necessary to have a three month run up to the festive season? I realise that the UK high street is battening down the hatches and preparing for a lean period, but still... who the hell is giving serious thought to Secret Santa purchases and stuffing recipes when they're still holding onto the remnants of their summer holiday tan? Do they think that if they don't start reminding us about Christmas as far ahead as possible, we're going to forget?

A story all over the press recently here in the UK is a British school headmistress who banned the 'C' word from being uttered within the confines of her school gates until 1st December. I salute her - a voice of rare common sense ringing out clearly in a world increasingly muddied by commercial waters.

The problem with the commercial channels bringing Christmas forward by so much every year is that by the time it actually arrives, we're all suffering from over-saturation. The end result? The excitement and magic of Christmas becomes diluted - boiled down to just another excuse to splash the cash.

Christmas shouldn't be about pure consumer excess; it's not about the acquisition of the must-have toy, or the latest perfume, or the most-up-to-the-minute gadget. Christmas should be a sensory extravaganza of smell (an infusion of cinnamon, pine and orange peel), colour (red, gold, green), taste (turkey, cranberry, chocolate, spice) and most of all, a celebration of family and friendship. We all know that money might be able to buy you all the Christmas trimmings, but it can't buy you love. And a celebration of love, religious or otherwise, is what Christmas is really about.

Comments

Manhattan Mama said…
I'm sending you coal for your stocking. :)

Just kidding. I completely agree. I am utterly exhausted, completely tapped and it's only Dec. 2. Tonight, though, I am sitting in the living room, one lamp lit, and just enhaling our fresh tree I bought today. That makes it seem okay.

My favorite Christmas memory in recent years was in 2000, living in that flat in South Ken. A few nights before Christmas, I heard some carolers along our street. Lovely, quiet night. Could not have been more magic.
LOL. I love the smell of fresh Christmas tree. We move into the new place on Wednesday and I plan to get a tree next weekend - or as soon as everything is out of boxes.. hmmm, could be a while.

MM, the new flat is a ten minute walk from your old place. Old times and sweet memories... come back to London!
Suse said…
Popped over via Glamorouse.

I am forbidden by my husband to start playing Christmas carols until 1 December.

"But they're playing in the shops in September ...!" I whine.
Hi Suse, good to see you here and hope you're enjoying the blog. I think your husband is absolutely right! I'm having carol fatigue as well, especially as a band playing endless renditions of cheesy favorites have taken up residence below my office window and are currently driving me crazy... if I never hear 'White Christmas' again it will be too soon... :-)

Popular posts from this blog

Apologies for being incommunicado this week and hope none of you out there are too distraught not to be receiving the usual almost-daily MotV missives. The reason for the silence is that I'm up to my neck, metaphorically-speaking, in research papers for my first grad course assessment. This experience has made me realise how rigorously un-academic I am in my thinking. It has also illuminated how reliant I am on red wine in order to get through endless evenings typing furiously on my laptop, not to mention the fueling of increasingly colorful curses that I feel obliged to aim at the University's online library system which consistently refuses to spit out any of the journals I'm desperate for (I refuse to believe this is 100% due to my technical incompetence...)Oh well, if this is the price one has to pay in order to realize a long-cherished dream then it's not all that bad... No one ever said a mid-life career change would be easy. Wish me luck!

Recommended & the Mahiki dance-off

My GFs and I went to Mahiki last night, great fun as usual but made me feel a bit old; it seems that Thursday night is the playground of the just-past-pubescent. Oh well. Good tunes though, so whatever.In between taking over the dancefloor - the youngsters may have youth on their side but frankly that shrinks to insignificance in the face of two decades of clubbing experience - one of my GFs and I got into a conversation about why so many people are full of bull.It appears that many people we come across are content to live their lives in a superficial way, skimming the surface of what life has to offer and equating the ownership of stuff (cars, houses, boats, jewelry, designer clothes) with happiness. They converse in terms of status, strut their possessions as a measure of their own self-worth, take themselves far too seriously, are quick to judge others, easily annoyed, complain a lot about very little and their worries seem to far outweigh their joys. Personally, I think all that…

Champix

Following on from the realisation that my lungs are filthy and if I don't give up the smokes soon I face a life of wheezing at best, off I trotted to see the charming Dr T.

Dr T, who's charming by virtue of the fact that he's less jaded than the other doctors in the surgery (in other words, he treats patients as if they're human beings with a right to NHS services rather than annoying fraudsters trying to gain sympathy for imaginary illnesses) promptly put me on potentially habit-forming drugs to get me off the evil weed. Something doesn't feel quite right about this but since I'm so pathetically grateful to have a doctor who's willing to give me more than two seconds of his precious time, I have acquiesced to his demands.

Anyway, this wonder drug is called Champix and promises to have me merrily chucking my smokes in the bin in no time. Or it will if I can get past the possible side effects, the highlights being abnormal dreams, nausea, flatulence, snoring, …