So Halloween and Bonfire night (UK tradition) are over; gone are the window displays of pumpkins, witches hats, fireworks and sparklers. I’m breathing a momentary sigh of relief. I stress momentary because these items have expeditiously been replaced with something far worse; tinsel and baubles. Each year the run-up to Christmas starts earlier and earlier, infringing on autumn and summer months. In some shops I’m guessing the Christmas paraphernalia has already been on display for a while. In more extreme instances, the likes of big UK department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges have had their Christmas merchandising on display since July. (click here) JULY?! Give me a break; I’d rather bask in the ‘glory’ of my shitty UK summer than start shopping for presents 5 months before Christmas. Why does everything have to be a countdown? I want to live in the moment not waste my life away. Can’t we just confine pumpkins to October, fireworks to November and Santa to December? Like most normal people who have shit to do, I don’t start thinking about buying décor and presents…well as I say…until December. Call me unorganised but I quite like to revel in my lack of preparation, preferring instead to frantically run around like an elf the week before the big day. At least I can get all my shopping done and dusted in one go and not have to endure being prodded, elbowed and crushed to within an inch of my life so I can buy a pair of woolly socks for my nan.
I find the run-up to Christmas like marmite. You either love it or hate it. You either conduct a Christmas countdown or you consciously try to ignore the ever growing indications that Christmas is coming your way. I for one hate the run-up. Every year, by mid/end of October I anticipate being robbed of two months of my life in which everything everywhere is dedicated to preparing for a measly 24 hours of gluttony. With a never-ending ‘to-do’ list, my day-to-day life is stressful enough without having to endure zealous Christmas shoppers making me feel bad for not being overly festive. Come November, and while I’m popping to the shops for one or two mundane items, there the culprits are lugging around a brimming basket full of Clinton’s cards, tinsel, fairy lights, and frozen turkeys. Don’t get me wrong I am a very giving person, I wouldn’t’ call myself a Scrooge but I’m certainly not Santa, I don’t have 12 reindeers, and I don’t have a bank account big enough to starting buying Christmas gifts before sorting out my monthly bills. Yet some people are not fazed by their growing expenditure around the Christmas period, and I’m not just talking about shopping for presents or food. External housing decoration; or as I like to call it a 'Christmas eye-sore', is another gripe of mine, especially when people put them up over a month before Christmas. If you want to get excited and do a little countdown that’s fine by me, but don’t plaster disco lights all over your house and keep them flashing all night. In November. Do that and you’ll be sure to get complaints for your tacky decorations. Take for example this man, who has to have his festive display guarded by police because of angry pilferers.
Or another standard chavvy decoration as seen here:
Imagine living next to that? Lights on 24/7 (illegal), a dozen plastic, shiny snowman in your neighbours garden path, an electric page boy constantly singing “Ding-Dong Merrily on High”? It’s enough to drive anyone insane, let alone 6 weeks before Christmas.
And then as if that wasn’t enough, of course we have TV adverts. If I have to watch one more Toys R Us advert talking about Barbie, Barney or Dora the Explorer, I think I'll top myself. Yes, I know the adverts are predominantly aimed at children and companies want to capitalize on potential festive consumerism, but it’s a bit excessive isn’t it? Can’t they just confine those sorts of adverts to kids TV channels? Or at least have some kind of process which bans kids adverts after 9pm to stop them being so pointless. Children are so demanding nowadays I doubt parents need any more ideas about what to get them.
But once Christmas Day finally comes around, I’m happy. A day off work, presents and an ample helping of food is fine by me. All of the things that so easily annoyed me in the run-up to Christmas are usually forgotten about because I’m regrettably anticipating my next annoyance; Boxing Days sales and TV adverts.