Yep, it that time of the year again. For some it’s pretty straight forward the same as usual, the tree is taken out of storage and the kids have fun and put on the decorations and take out the stockings to go over the fireplace and everybody starts to feel the beginnings of the Christmas spirit-whatever that may be! Christmas songs fill the air and everything is happy and jolly…but is it? Really?
This year has been a tough one. Inflation is above 3% food and drink has gone up and added an extra few quid to the shopping list and people are cutting back on the extras such as gardening and cleaning services, when really, this is the time of year when they are needed the most!
Well, we have been bombarded by advertising since October for Christmas deals and offers through every living space available. The days when adverts were just on TV, the bill board and the side of the bus, are gone-they adverts are now following you into your bedrooms, bathrooms, and beds via your mobile phones. Your kids, who would normally be playing with toys, are now glued to their phones or games consoles, totally oblivious to the dramas unfolding in the kitchen with mum and dad already halfway through a bottle of whiskey and arguing about in-laws and how to make the right stuffing.
For some people, this time of year can be a lonely and sad place to be. Being estranged from family, or having no family or friends, this is the worst time of year to be alone – I personally have experienced that myself on more than one occasion, so I know what it feels like.
I also remember when Christmas used to be fun, sharing presents, all the family together for once, putting aside your differences and gritting your teeth and putting up with the snide remarks, so we could at least eat at the same table, then after dinner watch the Queen Speech, Christmas TV shows and eat crackers with cheese and everybody at least pretended to have fun.
What’s so different these days? Well, people are really skint. The average spending on a family Christmas dinner in 2007 is 1% higher than today. A Christmas present in 2007 on average would have cost £5-£45 and in 2017 the average is £25-£85! Today, mobile phones are going for up to £1000 and Xbox’s £450. What has happened?
By the end of the day, the kids are crying, the missus is crying, her sisters crying, the dogs eaten chocolate and puked on the kitchen floor, grandmas peed on the leather sofa, granddads dropped his teeth in the punch bowl and the cats up the Christmas tree….Ahhh….what was it about Christmas that I loved so much?