Well I am surprised. Usually the shops are stocking up with tinsel and chocolate selection boxes just as the summer sale signs are taken down. TV adverts selling the latest action figure to kids are broadcast the moment ‘last chance’ summer holiday campaigns are taken off the air. But this year I’ve been completely blind to it, that is until now. I caught my first Christmas ad campaign on the box today and saw the first signs in shops that the Christmas advertising juggernaut is starting it’s unstoppable journey of want and destruction.
I don’t hate Christmas but I don’t want to hear about it before I open the first window on my advent calendar. Even waiting until the embers of Bon Fires lit on 5th November had cooled would be a start but hearing about Christmas 11 weeks or more before it happens is simply too much for me to handle. Talk to me about Christmas before December 1st and you’ll find out that as miserly as Ebenezer Scrooge was he has nothing on a pre-Christmas Dazzle Rebel.
By the time December 24th comes around I’m a completely different person. It seems that the spirits of Christmas past, present and future do their thing and turn me into Will Ferrell’s character in the 2003 movie ‘Elf’. But come 2nd January that’s it, Christmas decorations must come down and I don’t want to hear another thing about Christmas for another 12 months.
The thing for me about Christmas is that it is way too over-hyped, far too commercial and just so flipping self-indulgent that unless you’ve got little kids it’s really quite pathetic seeing people get all gooey over the time of goodwill. And that’s another thing; the time of goodwill? You must be kidding me right? Have you ever been Christmas shopping the weekend before Christmas? Shopping centres are turned into cattle-drives, shoppers turn into stampeding hordes and the whole scene more closely resembles the recent London riots that anything from the nativity. Goodwill my arse!
That’s why I try and do most of my shopping online, safe in the comfort of my own sofa. Yes blame me for the decline of the local shops, tell me I’m missing out on the wonderful Christmas atmosphere but at least I won’t be busting a blood vessel when my stress levels reach boiling point and I attack some innocent stranger because they wont get out my bloody way! I wont be coming home covered in bruises with aching limbs and with an empty wallet and astronomical credit card bill because I just had to buy that little extra that looked so good in the shop. No sir. I will be done in less than an hour and will hardly exerted little more effort than moving my fingers. Job done.
I often think that we need another huge festival in the summer. A festival that everyone gets to spend a week relaxing in the sun, drinking cocktails, staying out late into the night with nothing to worry about except having a good time, completely stress free. Sounds good doesn’t it? Then I realise what I am describing is a summer holiday.