I’m pretty sure my money would be safe if I put on a bet that each and everyone one of you will hear someone – a friend, a family member, a stranger on the bus, yourself – over the next couple of weeks say that Christmas has got too commercial. If by some weird freaky chance you’re married to the boss of Universal, Sony, Microsoft, Walmart, or some such corporate giant, you‘ll probably hear your spouse say the exact opposite.
For as long as I can remember I’ve heard people say that Christmas is too commercial. Similarly, for as long as I can remember I’ve noticed those exact same people spend loads of money on gifts, booze and Quality Street. Christmas seems to be as commercial as we allow it to be.
One small part of that, amongst all the bigger concerns of where our society is going, is how advent calendars have changed. Is it actually possible to go to Woolworth’s and buy an advent calendar without chocolate inside it these days? I hope I’m not just romanticising the past, but I seem to remember enjoying simply opening up the windows and finding a new Christmassy scene to look at.
Hey, chill out, Craig, it’s only a tiny bit of chocolate! Well, aside from the dubious qualities of allowing children to eat chocolate at breakfast time, isn’t it just a sign that we’ve given up on Christmas being anything other than an opportunity to stuff ourselves and spend more money than we have on stuff that makes us fleetingly happy?
And anyway, from an aesthetic point of view, a nice little Victorian snowy scene behind a window is far nicer to look at than a chocolate-shaped indent in a sheet of vacuum-formed plastic over a crappy line drawing of a snowman.
So now can we open our hymn books to page 42…. (just kiddin’.)
Oh, and by the way, today’s advent photo is the Christmassy effort from the hairdressers across the street.