The Big Eye, November 10, 2015

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As someone who struggles with the crass commercialisation of absolutely everything in C21st Britain you can imagine my unalloyed joy at the big superstore chains’ opening tactics in the battle for 
your money as we enter ‘phase one’ of Christmas 2015.

Already the adverts featuring a plethora of cheeky poppets, their faces wreathed in almost beatific rapture as mummies and daddies secretly order their little darlings’ pressies from an online warehouse business whilst the poor little mites ask expectantly if they can help daddy with the shopping bags. Misery abounds with the realisation that neither mum nor dad has any bags to peek into.

This pathetic and supposedly heartwarming scenario will be repeated in different guises as each massive retail outlet launches its Christmas campaign to lure you into purchasing a load of glittering overpriced tat and trolley-loads of festive food and drink to complement your already burgeoning waistline.

We can’t get enough of it obviously, and judging by the amount of money they’re prepared to invest in these sales presentations, we are definitely taken in by the razzamatazz and the saccharin sentimentality in their offerings.

Last Christmas one particularly cynical ploy was used to great effect by a high street chain to get some extra column inches in the ratings 
war. They chose to tug at our heart strings by, (and I still find it hard to believe), presenting a scene from WW1 trench warfare embattlements by faking a Disneyfied image of the fun that could be had from playing football with an enemy for a little while before returning to the trenches and resuming the shelling and sniping and mustard gas.

How are they going to top that? Maybe U Boat captains bring sweeties to the survivors of Atlantic torpedo attacks or ‘God forbid’ some sparkling snow and Yuletide larks at the Leningrad siege? Words genuinely fail me!

My cynicalometer has already gone straight to number 11 and unless I can control my utter disbelief at our total lack of comprehension surrounding the way we are being manipulated, then my guess is the commercial telly channels will be ‘verboten’ in the Big Eye household. Apart from the ubiquitous Downton tear-jerker finale on Xmas Day itself!

There is no doubt that many of us will have a whale of a time and the whole idea of buying and giving presents is rooted in good intentions.

For most, there is a genuine desire to express love and gratitude to your friends and family and so, probably, I will have a word with myself and stop being such a misery. And the chances are I will and being lucky enough to be able to have all the Little Eyes beetling round my kitchen will be enough to soften this curmudgeonly old heart.

But a tiny part of me will still wish for a different world where Christmas Day is about families and friends and not about dodging endless adverts for Boxing Day sales whilst 
Lady Mary makes her mind up….