Posted by: malcolmjamesjwells | 30/11/2014

Hijacked holidays

I’m not the Grinch, but the appeal of Christmas diminishes for me as I get older. I still enjoy myself over the holiday, but something is lacking. It is nice that people give and receive presents at this time. I like that most people actually try to be nice to each other for at least one day of the year. The religious reason for the holiday might have been demoted to an after-though in many minds; but at least we try and think nice thoughts. That has to be a plus in anyone’s book.

What I dislike is the rampant commercialism that has hijacked our holidays. Mince pies, Christmas puddings and cakes are all on sale three months before the day. Part of the meat department in the supermarkets is swamped by huge legs of ham at the same time. Do they seriously expect us to clog our fridges with a huge ham for all that time?

Santa is roaming the streets and department stores by November, drumming up business for his one big day of the year. Shops are decked out with tinsel, holly and Xmas trees, driving kids to distraction and their parents into a state of despair.

There is no rest after the big day for Santa’s little helpers. As soon as Christmas is finished, and before we have time to welcome the New Year, they are stripping the shops of Xmas cheer. The Easter Bunny and his mates are in the loading docks of the big stores, ready to stack the shelves with Hot Cross Buns and Easter Eggs.

Throughout the rest of the year we are subjected to a number of days devoted to another religion – the unadulterated worship of money. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day are designed to makes us feel cheap if we do not participate and purchase over-priced products specially marketed for the occasion. The fact that these days all have noble sentiments attached makes them all the more brilliant as cynical money-making ventures. Surely we can celebrate our appreciation of loved ones without feeling guilty because we haven’t spent a fortune on them?

The exorbitant spending of cash on these occasions obviously does wonders for the economy; and perhaps makes some of us feel good. I reckon displays of genuine affection, kind deeds and respect of our fellow beings is also good; and you can practice these things every day.

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