Saturday, December 13, 2014

Week Fifty – and a happy merry expensive Christmas!

On the first day of Christmas my true love said to me – get your wallet out because the season for spending has arrived!

No yearlong writing blog challenge would be complete without a Christmas Blog! With two more to do after this, I could not resist the temptation to write about my favourite subject… NOT! Christmas has come to town! Actually it is Santa that comes to town in the song, but his arrival and Christmas arrival are equally as expensive and commercialised as each other. And for those of you who are thinking “airtight Grinch, get of your pedestal” it is not that I hate Christmas (well may be I do) but what it actually means and not what is meant to be.

The idea of writing about the never-ending commercialisation of this season came to me when I saw someone on the underground with an I-phone 6, which had a phone cover that made it look like an old I-phone! The cover was big, bulky and square, but at the back of it there was a very intriguing picture I could not make out. I am guessing he was attached to the cover because of the picture and not the horrid shape of the ugly structure surrounding this masterful piece of equipment that is the I-phone 6. If you’ve not seen the new I-phone yet, it is a very slim, rounded design with a very delicate metal structure very pleasing to both the eye and hand of its owner.

So why would anyone spend money on an ugly cover covering a very expensive phone? This question is what inspired me to write about the season to spend money. Trarlalalala tralalala! (see how I got the xmas theme going here? J) Manufactures of phone covers have commercialised a market, which kind of doesn’t make sense. You spend thousands of pounds in a new bit of gear which every time gets more and more sexier, and then we go and spend more money to go and cover it up! Some times with ridiculous covers that completely and utterly take away the beauty of the device, which is what you paid for! It’s like the guys who sell antivirus; its rumoured they are the once who produce the viruses! It’s all about making you spend more money!

So let’s get back to our Christmas Carol story and why I don’t like Christmas. The ghost of Christmas past comes to me every year to remind me of my childhood and my experiences of this time when I was still at home with my family. I guess back then I didn’t know any better and what child does not like to have a visit from the white bearded man bearing gifts? I guess back then my memories of Christmas where happy, as I knew no better. We used to have big family gatherings, which somehow will always end up in some sort of trouble with an uncle getting too drunk or some truths coming up fumed by alcohol

In my Christmas Carol story there is the Ghost of Christmas adolescence that comes to remind me about my time in my late teens and early twenties. This is the time I found myself away from my family when I moved to England and not feeling the pressures of Christmas what it all means. I guess it was strange at the beginning but pretty soon I got used to not having to turn my world upside down for 6 weeks of the year (In Mexico we also celebrate all the way to the 6th of January with the arrival of the three wise men, one more reason to spend money!) and you know what? I liked being away from it all!

And so it brings me to my Ghost of Christmas present where I now have my own family and they love Christmas! In fairness to me I am not as bad as I am making myself to be (I’m fighting my own battle here, as I know some of you are really thinking “Baa Humbug”) and I do get into the sprit of the season… a bit.

To prove this, I do buy Christmas presents, I do attend company Christmas do’s, I do drink and eat holiday season food, and I do occasionally sing Christmas Carols. I even tell my favourite Christmas joke every year: What’s Father Christmas wife called? Mary – Mary Christmas! LOL!

What I do not like is the commercial drive to the festivities, which in my country of residence, UK, starts from as early as October! That is insane! When we have just taken down our skeletons and pumpkins people are begging to display Santa and Rain Deer! We start to see television adverts tempting you to “buy” for loved ones and closer to December the array of useless box-set gifts begin to pour in the shops. People walk around possessed by the holiday season demon carrying thousands of bags filled with gifts they “hope” the recipients will like.

Buying for someone when you are pressured to do so, (secret Santa specially) confused by the unusually large selection of bric-a-brac in the shops and a limited budget, which has to be spread amongst all the people in your list, can only be bad for your health! And in my opinion, unless you enjoy the experience of shopping under these conditions, it takes away the important message that was set, I am sure many years ago, as to the meaning of this time of the year for many around the world.

I am not suggesting the world should stop and cancel Christmas, I am only asking for all of us to take this as an example of how commercialised our world has become. When retailers focus on how they can flog things to us we don’t need and in some cases at ridiculous prices just because is the season to be jolly (£4.50 for a small cup of warm wine called Mulled!), we are in danger of becoming more and more the victims of a society that pressures us to believe that by giving someone something you don’t really need at Christmas, you are now in the spirit of whatever two thousand years ago was started and came with a message of peace and love around the world.

PS – Dear Santa, this Christmas what I really want is peace on earth… I’m not kidding…  but if you really want to give me a gift, come back in September for my birthday; here is my list….

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