Today between meetings in Dublin city centre, I was able to marvel at the Christmas lights and decorations, and listen to songs and carols coming out of loudspeakers everywhere. Yes, it’s November, and for those going about their shopping this has been the scene for the past week or two. Christmas was formally launched somewhat earlier this year in Dublin, to stimulate shopping during the recession; and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if, next year, Roy Wood or Slade were to accompany my cup of coffee some time in mid-October.
Oddly enough, I haven’t yet come across that absolutely essential sign of Christmastide, the long complaint about how unacceptably commercial Christmas has become. Or the diatribe about how Christmas songs wouldn’t be so bad if only they wouldn’t play Cliff Richards or Mud’s ‘Lonely This Christmas‘. Or the soul-searching about whether it’s politically correct to celebrate Christmas at all – you can’t really have Christmas without that, it’s traditional.
So I must now ‘fess up and admit: yes, I rather like all the kitsch that ushers in Yuletide every year. I like all the lights, the rampant commercialism, the oh-so-naff songs, the hassled shoppers, yes even Cliff Richards and Rudolph. And if you’re one of those always complaining about all of that, then hey, I like you too, because you belong here. And so here, exactly one month before Christmastide really begins, season’s greetings to all of you!