Saturday, December 03, 2005

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.


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.

Yummy London Mummy said...

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.

Yummy London Mummy said...

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... :-)