Another Christmas commercial frenzy – bah humbug!

In the build-up to this Christmas I’ve been hiding from the shops. They are a madhouse, and what used to be post-Christmas sales are already starting ahead of the big day.

The Zombie Christmas Maul
The Zombie Christmas Maul

Christmas has been reduced – certainly in New Zealand – to a frenzy of shouted advertisements for cheaply made consumer items that break twenty two seconds after you’ve ripped them out of their packaging. Care, thought and compassion, it seems, has been translated into a race to buy one of the 342 Christmas albums released by has-been singers who you almost but don’t quite remember from the 1990s.

Not to mention the 48 course mid-day lunch – hams, turkey (with stuffing), strawberries, especially priced by suppliers racing to see who can gouge the most, they’re not going to lose customers today are they?

Never mind the fact that in New Zealand the season’s topsy-turvy. Christmas was a mid-winter festival in Europe. Here, Christmas gluttony starts around 11,30 am with a two-hour frenzy of power-eating – hot roast chicken, turkey and fruit mince pies, all in 30 degree heat and a backdrop of brilliant sunshine. The afternoon is spent rolling around groaning.

After which we can all look forward to Boxing Day sales in which all the stuff you just paid double for on 24 December is suddenly out there at a tenth of the price. All the things Christmas should be about – a day for family, a day for caring and for kindness – all seem to have been lost, somewhere along the way.

To all of which I say only one thing. BAH HUMBUG!

Merry Christmas everybody.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014


4 thoughts on “Another Christmas commercial frenzy – bah humbug!

  1. Once upon a time my mother made a Christmas wreath for me. It was a bunch of twigs wrapped together for the wreath, and she decorated it in brown ribbon edged with gold. There were plastic airplanes for ornaments. In gold letters on the ribbon she wrote “BAH! HUMBUG!”

    I swelled with pride to place that on my front door that Christmas.

    Truth is I love the idea of Christmas. It’s just that somewhere along the line the gap between theory and reality became so great that it’s hard to have any kind of “Christmas spirit” any more.

    Nonetheless, here’s wishing you and She Who Must Be Obeyed a very Merry Christmas!

  2. My sentiments exactly. If you take Christ out of Christmas, you are left with nothing more than a Gift Exchange Day. I don’t need that. This year we did very little for Christmas because of the multiple illness and hospital stays. The only decorations: Christmas cards taped to the door frame and one ball ornament which hangs in my window year-round.
    It’s funny that you don’t hear cries of “Have a Merry Christmas!” because it might upset someone. You don’t hear the glorious carols because they might be offensive to someone. My holiday is ruined because of fear. So, bah, humbug to the modern Christmas that refuses to acknowledge Christ’s birthday. I don’t care to celebrate the modern version.

    1. Here in New Zealand Boxing Day has on occasion literally become Gift Exchange Day, there was one year when a major retail chain with a clear returns policy held its Boxing Day half-price sale. They were overwhelmed with hordes of customers pouring in to take back gifts they’d received at Christmas, via that returns policy – and then buy the same thing again at half price. The spirit of Christmas in the sense it had been through western thinking seemed very far away.

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