I should be used to it by now. But each year I find myself surprised and irritated how early the Christmas season is exploited by retailers. Christmas ranges seem to have been on sale since late summer.
I can live with the offence to the eye and the cynical exploitation of what is after all a religious festival. If only it could be done quietly.
What really appals me is yuletide piped music in stores and supermarkets from early November.
Prisoners of war are protected – or else they should be – from torture by persistent, discordant noise under the Geneva Convention. The same courtesy should be extended to shoppers until, at least, a fortnight before Christmas.
Today I never got as far as ordering my usual tall white Americano with extra hot milk before I was driven from my local Starbucks by a Christmas medley.
This Christmas is going to be a tough test for the high street. As I have written before discounting is going to be prevalent to tempt consumers worried how their finances are going to hold up in 2012.
Traditionally Brits don’t stint on indulging themselves and their children turning December 25th back into the pagan festival of light from which the early church settled on the date in the depths of winter to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus.
But all the signs are this year is going to be different. It would be nice to think if the eating, drinking, and presents buying is more restrained, there will be a better chance for the true message of Christmas to be heard.
I’m an atheist but I’m not going to argue with the sentiments of the carol O Holy Night:
“Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.”