Opinion: Christmas spirit lost in mad shopping rush

20:42 24 December 2011

Christmas shoppers on Regent Street as millions of Christmas shoppers hit the stores in a frenzy of last-minute buying

Christmas shoppers on Regent Street as millions of Christmas shoppers hit the stores in a frenzy of last-minute buying

Nobody likes the current economic situation but if Christmas becomes the latest casualty of the crisis then I say that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

I’m not bah humbug about it. If anything, I’m being pro-Christmas.

I don’t want Christmas scrapped – I would just like to see people’s rampant greed and consumerism reined in a bit so the occasion might return to something more akin to the old-fashioned virtues of goodwill to others for goodwill’s sake and spending time with loved ones.

Whether you buy into the sacred religious meaning of Christmas or look at it more simply in the spirit of giving, you must have noticed how any worthwhile message has been completely sapped out of it.

These days Christmas isn’t about celebrating anything special, it’s about celebrating the shininess of those supposedly must-have gadgets and other “essential” items.

Shops are partly to blame for this, putting stock out when the smell of summer barbecues has barely drifted away and bombarding us with adverts encouraging us to spend money which most of us don’t have.

Littlewoods is the worst offender with its dreadful commercial where the mum is deemed “lovely” by her kids for wasting money on expensive gifts and putting the family into debt.

If people’s finances are being pinched then perhaps they will blow less cash (or credit) on Christmas and think about assigning a more wholesome meaning to it than just wild spending.

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