It can’t have escaped your notice that the Festive Season is rapidly approaching. The advertisers have been on our case since about the middle of October. It drives me mad! I’m sure it didn’t used to be that early. Surely we had the school half-term, then Halloween, then Remembrance Sunday ( and don’t get me started on having to wear a Poppy for almost a month or I must be very unsympathetic to those who gave up their lives in defence of our Country) and then Children in Need. To me,once those things are over, then I might consider starting to think about Christmas. But actually, no. Probably not until December 1st.
Now, according to the adverts and trailers,here is a list of things I definitely need for the perfect Christmas. (And my reply)
A 50″ super HD telly (and whichever service provider you decide so you can watch every film and programme imaginable all day – in fact you could probably watch for 24/7 all year and not get your money’s worth)
A new living room suite (because whatever you already have is obviously not good enough)
A new dining table and chairs that can sit at least a dozen people (even if you know there will only be 4 for dinner)
A freezer filled with enough buffet food to feed the 5000 (that will probably still be being eaten in May)
About a dozen new dresses to go to all those fabulous parties you get invited to. ( I can’t actually remember the last Christmas party I was invited to)
Enough booze to float the Titanic on. (My hubby likes red wine and whisky, my daughter drinks a bit of cider, my son and I are teetotal. And if everyone is driving…)
Twinkling lights on 24 hrs a day on every surface you can see. (I may be a bit guilty of this)
A 12 ft tree completely covered with very tasteful decorations (Mine is 6ft tall, always tasteful)
A 30lb turkey so you have enough for leftovers til the New Year. ( A turkey crown usually – there’s only 4 of us – we tend to have Mexican for New Year)
15 different accompaniments to said turkey. And 12 different kinds of cheese just in case we haven’t eaten quite enough at lunch. (We do like all the trimmings…but only half a dozen small bits of cheese that usually get eaten at some point between Christmas and New Year)
As many different kinds of chocolate as you can fit in your car. (One year I went into a cupboard in March to find about 6-8 boxes of chops still there…lucky it was my daughter’s birthday, so I didn’t need to buy any for her party)
And then there are the presents…X-boxes, Phones, jewellery, perfumes, Lego sets that cost mega amounts of money and have a gazillion pieces to lose…but those are only for boys, obvs. Girls must get Dollies and makeup and tiaras or anything else pink and covered in sparkles. And the list goes on and on and on. I do think the earlier the adverts start the easier it is to overspend because you just keep buying things when you see them. (Set a limit. Whatever you can afford. Stick to it. When my son wanted the Nintendo Wii, we told him that would be all he would get. When I was 15 I wanted a Cassette recorder, it was £30, there were 6 kids to buy for, my Mum couldn’t afford it so I had to wait a whole year so she could save up. Kids need to know they can’t have everything they want whenever they want it – an idea that does seem to be unpopular these days)
Is it any wonder that we get so stressed? How the heck are we supposed to pay for all this stuff? Do we really need food programmes giving us 15 different ways to cook the perfect turkey in the 6 weeks before The Big Day? And I’m sure that piped music in all the shops already actually just gets me so cross that I don’t want to go shopping at all at the moment. And I really like shopping.
And what are people actually celebrating? It’s been said that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost, and as we have a multi-cultural and secular society I’m inclined to agree. We all have traditions that we like to continue. I think most people agree that kids singing Carols is lovely even if you’re not a believer. I love to watch Elf to get in the Christmas Spirit. And if anyone tells me that Father Christmas isn’t real…well, they’re deluded!
Don’t get me wrong…I really like Christmas. But in October and November – just no!
Roll on December!