The mince pies and crackers are on already on sale at the start of October. The sparkling lights go up before the leaves have even fallen from the trees. We are all humming Fairytale of New York by the middle of November and then Black Friday kicks 三级成人视频off an orgy of shopping before December has even started. Many of us have already noticed that Christmas gets earlier and earlier every year.
三级成人视频Plenty of people complain about how what is meant to be a religious festival, or at least a time for family and rest, has been turned into a turbocharged two months of rampant consumerism. But hold on. Maybe the real problem with Christmas is actually that it isn’t commercial enough.
Why? Because in reality, the high street needs all the help it can get 三级成人视频right now; business need something to rescue them from a recession; and a services and experiences based economy needs a constant series of events to fuel it. To keep us all in jobs, Father Christmas and the elves are required more than ever.
Christmas creep, as it is known in the retail trade, has been advancing for years. The days when nothing much happened until at least halfway through December are at least a century in the past. It is hard to know who exactly is buying a Yule log三级成人视频 when the summer has hardly ended but somebody must be and Heart’s dedicated channel of cheesy Christmas hits cranks into life at the start of November.
The internet, as in so many other ways, has taken an existing trend, and made it all much worse, with Black Friday now a global celebration of shopping, powered by overhyped “bargains” that turn not to be such good value as you thought.
Complaining about the commercialisation of Christmas has become a staple of Sunday sermons in churches across the country for years, and lots of us will instinctively agree with the local vicar. Indeed the French (typically) are now considering legal restrictions on Black Friday to try to bring it under control, and anti-capitalists activists around the world were yesterday planning “Block Friday” events to protest over the hijacking over the day by huge corporations.
In fairness, there is some truth in those complaints. Even if you are not particularly religious, some of the marketing is, to put it mildly, crass. Yet, just perhaps the real story is that Christmas isn’t commercial enough. Not convinced? Here are three reasons why we might need even more tinsel and reindeers.
First, the high street desperately needs all the help it can get. Retailers have been going out of business at an accelerating rate三级成人视频. The banks are closing down branches as fast as they can possibly get away with it.
三级成人视频The restaurant chains are now starting to go the same way, and with restrictions on gambling machines even the bookmakers may not be able to hold out much longer. It might not be long before the average town centre just has a couple of charity shops, and a coffee bar, amid rows of boarded up shopfronts with battered, forlorn To Let signs on them.
The high street needs to come up with a compelling reason why we should put down our phones and tablets 三级成人视频and actually go out and buy something at a shop rather than order it online. What could be more persuasive than lots of flashing lights on the trees, a stall selling mulled wine, and some elves handing out mince pies around a grotto? It might be clichéd, but it also fun, and uplifting, and it brings people back, and gets them into the shops and restaurants again.
Next, and this year more than ever, the economy needs something to drag it out of recession. Our tortured debate about how, or indeed whether, to leave the European Union, has killed investment and destroyed business confidence. Yet another election, which may well prove completely inconclusive, and could even be followed by yet more referendums, won’t do anything to help.
The evidence is there in all the surveys, and although the UK has just about managed to avoid contracting for two consecutive quarters, the technical definition of a recession, it is going to struggle to record any growth this year or next. There is only one way out of that. As many people need to get out and hammer their credit cards for a couple of months. A hyper-commercialised Christmas might well be the only way to make that happen.
三级成人视频Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the economy has changed fundamentally in the last couple of decades. We have moved from one based on making things to one based on services and experiences. Factories have been replaced by multiplexes and theme parks. Retailers are branching out into hosting parties, classes and demonstrations instead of just selling things.
三级成人视频Leisure is a bigger and bigger part of overall spending with every year that passes, and the numbers of jobs it creates just keeps on growing. But an experience-based economy needs a whole series of events to drive it. Valentine’s Day, Easter, the summer holidays, music festivals, and now Black Friday and Cyber Monday all help. But Christmas is the really big one. Nothing else has quite the same power to drive spending.
三级成人视频Sure, the commercialisation of the season might be regrettable from a religious or spiritual point of view. We might all privately wonder if we really need to see The Polar Express turning up on the TV schedules quite so early, and perhaps some of us even doubt whether the Christmas jumper really needs to be a thing.
三级成人视频And yet the truth is the economy needs the boost it gives more than ever. Too early? If we are all to have a prosperous new year – as it says on those charity cards someone tried to sell you in August – then the whole shebang should probably have kicked off at the start of September.