Christmas: humbug to over-hype

“Deck the halls with bells of holly,” for the season to be jolly has once again come to visit. But, for some, the commercialisation of the festive period is making the “12 Days of Christmas” the “120 Days of Christmas and its surrounding Sales.”

Appalling metaphor and excessive exaggeration aside, there are some very different opinions on when it all should start, with answers including the reasonable “when I want it to” and “December”, and the commercially motivated “when I see the Coca Cola truck” or “when the adverts begin on TV”.

Many even ban Christmas songs until December, but it always happens; they sneak onto the radio late November, and at least one retailer has Christmas gifts on sale in September or October. Even the people that don’t care when it starts care if it starts that early! But, when it inevitably does, the Nativity must go on.

Indeed, Christmas is now very commercialised. Every year, shops offer to help you plan and buy everything you need, and much more, for “a Christmas to remember”, often before you would normally even think about it. We always assume that “the best value gifts” really do exist, so we rush to buy it all, hoping the items are on some as-yet-unwritten wish list. Even Santa’s green and black wardrobe was affected, only adopting red and white after a Coca Cola advert campaign.

Sometimes, however, I can’t help but feel a bit annoyed about it all. It’s the inevitable feeling you can get when something is built up for a couple of months: the feeling that it may all end up a farce, let down by its own hype.

Indeed, while I no longer expect the same amazing gifts I received as a 10-year-old (the glory days), I genuinely feel sorry for those children that fall victim to the excessive amounts of advertising around now. The poor souls, seeing all the gifts that they could ask Santa for. But then what if they don’t receive their next generation iPod? It would make Christmas just a bit rubbish, wouldn’t it?

We live in a commercially driven society. Adverts are an expected part of life, and I don’t mind that, but we are barraged by these humbugging adverts too early and too frequently. There needs to be a line that advertisers cannot cross, say late November. Otherwise Christmas will become a farce, shopping will descend to chaos, and the world will end because we stopped believing in the Gruffalo. We want a decent Christmas, but there are other things to think about in October and November, like Halloween, and Bonfire Night – leave Christmas out of it!


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August 2022
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