Tuesday, August 02, 2011


This is a post that my darling wife is unlikely to read.

My annual rant, you see, about C-mastime has begun at the end of a glorious sunny period. Normally, this type of complaint from me kicks in late in September or early October when all the ho-ho-ho, hoo-hah relentlessly gets under way.

But I didn’t start this, honest.

Famous big stores in London – I refuse to give them a free plug – are to blame for this moan. They have, incredibly, launched their festive season with more than 140 days still to go to December 25. It’s not real. November 25 is time enough, just about, I would suggest.

It’s bizarre and worrying. I pity the shop staff who may have to listen to C- word related songs by Slade, Wizzard and others before they’ve possibly even been on a Costa sunshine holiday or the next series of X Factor has started.

Crikey, we’re in the middle of the schools’ summer holiday here in Scotland, for goodness sake.

If you read the so-called explanations in this article

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/just-149-days-left-to-go-christmas-comes-early-to-harrods-2327918.html then I think we are doomed to year-round festive frolics.

I used to feel hugely dispirited on returning from an annual overseas holiday in September. I’d pop into our local supermarket to stock up with essentials only to be confronted inside the front entrance with outsize tins of biscuits and C-cards. Tinsel time was already trying to wear away my suntan.

C-time has officially gone commercially bonkers…for longer and longer each year.

You know you can’t possibly be able to have a good time unless you’re spending loads on needless presents most can ill-afford to buy, forking out on over-priced, mass produced traditional turkey dinners in a conveyor belt of “sittings” in hotels and clubs, or boozing till you drop for the sake of it. Well, that’s the advertising message I get and do my utmost to resist and ignore.

One feeble idea that these stores are catering for overseas visitors wanting to stock up on “British” decorations for their homes is laughable. Presumably these visitors can’t order such much needed gems over the Internet?

One senior executive at one of the two London outlets involved in this madness, no doubt rubbing her hands together gleefully and with a smile wider than Santa’s, says she can see a time when: “… we offer a capsule Christmas collection throughout the year.” This is a fancy, snake-oiled, marketing-tongued way of saying all-year round, which is not a pleasing thought to me.

In the run-up to the festive season we are increasingly brow beaten to consider spending our very hard-earned cash, mostly on rubbish (apart from C-pudding and mince pies, I must confess.) Now, the commercial brains behind the big stores and chains would love us to spend more on C-time for months in advance. Take your sunglasses off and buy the fake snow spray, they enthuse.

But I refuse to join in. It’s crackers, and I don’t mean the kind with corny jokes inside.

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