Thursday, December 31, 2009
Happy New Year, and Humbug.
Happy New Year to my few readers, and may it be an improvement on last year. If you're in the UK at least, that shouldn't be difficult.
Tonight I will be mostly avoiding the revelries. I'm in Scotland where the drinkers won't have to be back at work until Tuesday so it'll be mayhem here. The whole country is closed until then.
There was a time when January Sales would have started on the first Monday in January. Now they are called Boxing Day Sales and they start before Christmas. In my younger days, everything closed - absolutely everything - for Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year's day. Every other day was just a normal day. Decorations went up a couple of weeks before Christmas and came down a couple of weeks after.
Now the festivities start before Halloween, shops are covered with tinsel and glitter from November onwards, January sales start before Christmas and today - the final straw - I read that supermarkets have just started stocking Easter eggs.
We seem to be caught in an accelerating loop of consumerism. There is no way I will buy an Easter egg in January because it will be past its expiry date by Easter. I have noted, in previous years, mince pies on sale for Christmas but which expired in November. The trappings of each festivity are now sold so far in advance that they are unusable by the time the actual festivity arrives. It's insane.
Soon, children will open Easter eggs on Christmas morning and take presents from under the tree at Halloween. They will go out trick-or-treating in the summer and families will take their holidays in April.
Eventually it will all make its way back round to the proper time of year for each event.
Or maybe it'll just become one continuous lunatic frenzy of celebration until the whole lot collapses under its own acceleration. If that happens, perhaps we'll be able to get back to normal, with the right event at the right time of year and none of this shut-down for weeks at a time when nobody can get anything done and nobody knows which festivity they are currently buying for.
I don't even know when to exclaim 'Humbug' any more!