Advent Calendar 2014: Day One
Christmas! Christmas is on its way! And we’re allowed to say that today, as today is actually December.
Yesterday I saw a lot of Christmas decorations. As we drove home I could see a lot of Christmas trees twinkling in people’s front rooms. There are a few houses already decked out with external Christmas lights. Earlier I’d been to the supermarket and the decorations were already in place, reflecting the strip-lighting in a gaudy, yet oddly affecting way.
I’m pretty well programmed to finding a bargain at the supermarket, and avoiding the false bargain. Three-for-two is only worth it if you’re going to consume all three, and not throw one-and-a-half away. I’m not afraid to number-crunch to discover the best price per weight, or to stock up on dry goods when an offer is running.
I noticed yesterday that a lot of offers were running until 30th November. You don’t need offers to encourage gluttony and greed come December. Buy, buy, buy. I succumbed to some mini mince pies, because I’m only human, but I left the gift aisles well alone. For now. I was a little reassured to see chutney on offer until 28th December, as Christmas seems to be my main chutney consumption period.
Two women ahead of me at the tills had a long old chat, rounded off by “Have a good Christmas!” and I guess now is the time to start saying that sort of thing.
I escaped without my enthusiasm for Christmas dulled by capitalism, although no doubt that will come. The decorations were a little too early, but today they feel welcome. Let’s make the most of the season of goodwill. And keep it about just that.
Is Black Friday a thing over there yet? In the US, the last Thursday in November is the Thanksgiving holiday, so Friday is the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, with sales like $1000 speaker systems for $200, DVD box sets marked down to next to nothing, and so on. A store will sometimes only have a small handful of the drastically reduced big-ticket items, so there are frequently long lines and fights. Seems like a rather bleak way to start the season, but sometimes a guy needs a large super high-def TV, I suppose.
Black Friday seems to have become a bigger deal this year, and has certainly had the accompanying violence from consumers looking for a cheap TV. It is kind of sad, as I think it reflects the growing desperation and poverty here – that people will go that extra mile for a bargain. I guess it also shows there are plenty of greedy people too.
Most people I know tried to steer well clear of the major shopping centres, as it seems like a lot of grief without a lot of genuine, tangible benefit.
And we don’t even get Thanksgiving the day before!
You really should lobby for a Thanksgiving. The food is delicious! I made a dish that had a stick of butter and a pound of cheese.
That sounds amazing. I will start lobbying.
Good to see my readership already feeling festive!