The consumer build up to the festive period is well and truly gathering momentum. Like the runaway carriage at the beginning of Les Miserables, it hurtles out of control creating collateral damage until its inevitable conclusion. In Les Mis, the victims requiring the intervention of the parole breaker Jean Valjean to gain respite from its carnage.
However, in the case of Christmas consumerism carriage, I’d proffer its victims need more than the superior physical strength of a fugitive from justice to ease their woes. Unfortunately, for those who rack up heavy festive debts, you’re liberty from them will not come via a man seeking redemption for his past sins with acts of humanitarian kindness.
I’m no money expert like ‘Greengrocer to the Stars’ Martyn Lewis. However, I’m sure the motor mouthed TV presenter would advocate if your want to avoid “One day more. Another day, another destiny. This never ending road to Calgary…” then look for good deals, maintain self-discipline and pay-off any yuletide credit card purchases in full!
Unless, of course, you’re buying a Martyn Lewis Grill as a festive gift, in which case you should ‘Live now, pay later and sod the consequences!”
After hearing someone bickering over a parking space this morning at a local retail park, I was inspired to write about Christmas consumerism. By now means is my narrative aimed to lecture on spending behaviour. For one thing, I’m not qualified to tell people how to behave with their folding.
Moreover, I pondered on the irony of how the act of purchasing a gift to appear generous, kind, thoughtful and make us feel good about ourselves, can morph us into deeply unpleasant, intolerant and selfish individuals.
Whilst thinking about behavioural gift purchasing traits, I pictured an idyllic family Christmas scene.
I envisaged a Georgian living room with a nine foot spruce tree (donated by a recently reformed miser), an open log fire and a 5-year old excitedly opening a gift surrounded by his family in Dickensian attire.
After ripping off the wrapping paper, the 5 year old, who was expecting a Thunderbirds Tracy Island, looks crestfallen as he sees his eccentric grandma had bought him a Martyn Lewis Grill.
Wondering where he will now store his Thunderbird 3 space rocket, he smiles disingenuously at his gran and begrudgingly thanks her.
The boy, fed up at a present he’ll never use and having to wear 200 year old Dickensian clothing, watches on in envy as his family open their cornucopia of gifts made by the downtrodden and bought on the never never.
As he sees his dad happily examine the designer watch purchased by his mum, the boy is alarmed to hear his mother exclaim “I hope you like the watch, George. I had to push an elderly woman out of the way on Black Friday to get it for you!”
George, overcome at the extent his wife will go to buy him a top gift, responds fondly to his spouse “Thanks love. I had to snatch the necklace I got you out of someone’s hand and tell them “That’s mine you fat b*****d!””
The remainder of Christmas Day for George and his missus was a mixture of fruit ciders, wine and back to back Christmas X-Factor, while the 5 year old made a turkey dinner on his Martyn Lewis Grill.
Tomorrow we’ll be far away…… Tomorrow is the judgement day…… Tomorrow we’ll discover What our God in Heaven has in store!…… One more dawn…… One more day…… One day more!