Monday, December 29, 2008

A flurry of fake snow

I hate Christmas.

There, I've finally said it. Everything about the celebration, in the southern hemisphere, of this pagan, northern-hemisphere festival is both boring and ridiculous.

Few things are more absurd than the fake snow that is plastered everywhere, or the red "Santa hats" that sales assistants feel obliged to wear — despite the decidedly unwintry weather in shopping malls. But worst of all, I think, is the endless repetition of Jingle Bells and other such Christmas ditties, which seem to be designed to drive you insane long before the Jolly Gentleman comes guffawing down your chimney (or even tighter flue) with his bagful of consumer goodies.

This year, I didn't buy any Christmas presents, and was somewhat surprised, on Christmas morning, to be presented with two parcels, one containing two pairs of pants and the other a pair of pajamas.

In contrast to my parsimony, New Zealanders went on a spending spree that prompted the Dominion Post to ask rhetorically: "Recession? What recession?" In fact, Christmas Eve broke all sales records, according to Paymark, the company that processes 75 percent of electronic transactions.

By the end of the day, sales had reached $216 million — up almost 20 percent on the previous year. It was, the company said, the first time $200 million had been spent in a single shopping day.

Yet early next year, there will almost certainly be appeals for contributions to the local foodbank, so that "ordinary families in financial difficulty" can be helped to make ends meet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

glad you received something