The Big Eye, November 18, 2014: Already sick of Christmas

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It won’t have escaped your attention that the countdown to Christmas has started and the massive drive to get you to splurge what’s left of your wages in the shops has begun.

No corner of the UK is safe from the gut-churning, saccharin-soaked adverts for supermarkets and department stores as they vie with each other to persuade you to make an early foray into what is apparently the most magical time of the year.

Adverts full of roasted turkeys, sparkling snow, winking Santas, and rosy-cheeked little poppets are the standard order of the day apart from one retailer whose marketing wizards decided that World War One trench warfare might make a corking back drop for their 2014 drive to sell more groceries and festive tat.

I don’t care how these people want to dress it up and try to justify their hijacking of a vile and pointless war that took the lives of 40 million people, but I do know that this advert represents the pinnacle of the way that this festival has been cynically turned into nothing more than a trading opportunity.

Equally sickening is the appearance of this onslaught at the end of October where it neatly crashes headlong into the drive to sell you stuff to help you celebrate ‘All Hallows Eve’ or Halloween which has also been overwhelmed by retailers and transformed into a UK version of the weird Zombie festival, so beloved of our tricking and treating American cousins.

There is a distinctly desperate air about all of these adverts and promotional events and I suppose it’s due to the fragile state of the economy and if we now live in a society which is used to a commercial environment that simply operates on our apparent need to buy everything at the cheapest price, we can hardly be surprised when the financial pressure forces retailers into more and more desperate measures.

The first big victim of this financial climate happens to be the UK’s biggest single grocery business and accounting complications within their organisation has caused a shockwave throughout the industry.

Quick to kick this proverbial dog when he’s down, the whistleblowers have come swarming out of the woodwork to reveal some of the dirty tricks practised by supermarkets to screw the cheapest prices from suppliers.

I guess the materialistic demands of our modern society now take precedence over every other consideration and it seems for many of us that without the opportunity to purchase things and consume the latest trends in food, fashion and electrical goods, we have nothing with which to measure our lives and worth as individuals.

We all want to be happy and feel loved but maybe it’s time to try a little harder to understand and appreciate that buying shiny things for others may not be the only way to celebrate Christmas.

But if you feel the need to buy stuff ... hang on to the receipts!