Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The reluctant countdown . . . . 8

I'm not a modern-day Scroogette, honestly I'm not. It's just that Christmas comes but once a year, and that is on 25th December.

Until then, it's the first 24 days of December, it's Advent, it's winter - but it isn't Christmas!

And, speaking for myself (and I don't expect anyone else to concur) I simply don't feel the need to become the slightest bit 'Christmassy' until it is actually upon us.

If I had my way (and no nagging children), I wouldn't bring in the tree or put up decorations and lights until Christmas Eve itself. I cannot fathom this apparently irresistible urge to hang garish flashing lights indoors and out from the first week of December.

Shops and shopping centres I forgive (at least I forgive them in November - I do still find decorations October a bit overenthusiastic) - they desperately have to try to sell us stuff, so we can wrap it up and give it to other people, or eat or drink it, or wear it to parties.

But why do ordinary householders inflate giant plastic Santas and wedge them between their dormer windows on 1st December? I'm afraid I don't understand. And whatever happened to energy saving and the credit crunch? I'd rather hoped that there would be a noticeable reduction in flashing lights this year . . . but no. Everyone must have been making their savings in other ways, because the ubiquitous garishness is absolutely everywhere, flashing at us from all directions. Electric blue 'icicles', strobing rooftop sleighs, Las Vegas comes to the English countryside. There's no escape.

I am, however, resigned to the fact that, with just one week to go before the Big Day, I am really going to have to crank things up a notch or two and start getting into the Christmas groove.

To help me on my way - and I do hope it offers sustenance to anyone else of a similarly jaundiced disposition - here's the first of my Christmas Countdown, strictly non-commercial yuletide music clips:


monix said...

That is beautiful, J.

If you are thinking of starting a campaign of Grumpy Old Women Against Tacky Christmas Lights, let me join. We decorate the tree on Christmas Eve and keep it up until Twelfth Night. That is starting to look strange nowadays because everyone else takes their decorations down straight after Christmas. I suppose they are bored with them if they have been up since Halloween and, of course, they need to make room for the hot cross buns and Easter eggs from 2nd January.

Juliet said...

M - I have been a One Grumpy Old Woman Against Tacky Christmas Lights campaign these past five years or more. I had imagined myself to be a lone voice in the winter wonderland/wilderness, so I am delighted to welcome you aboard: let's be thoroughly grumpy together!

I, too, resolutely keep the tree up until Twelfth Night, scattered needles or no (another good reason for not putting it up too early).

Cadbury's Creme Eggs will be in the shops in the first week of January, you mark my words. Grump, grump, grump.

Jane Badger said...

ENtirely agree with you about early decorations. I have bought the tree, but it will stay in the barn until a couple of days before Christmas, and then stay up till 12th Night, by which time I shall be heartily fed up with it.

As far as outside lights go, up until this year I would have been right there with you, but this year, to my amazement, I have found myself thinking that at least it's a small sign of cheer. Doesn't mean we have any ourselves, though.

Juliet said...

Jane - re the cheery outside lights, I've given myself a real dilemma now I've 'come out' so publicly! At my previous house I used to hang some tiny white lights in the front hedge and on and outdoor Christmas tree, and dlightfully pretty (and tasteful!) they looked, in my view. But that was before this explosion of neon which is now upon us. For credit crunch reasons I'm not splashing out on a Christmas tree for the front garden this year, so I had planned to hang my twinkly white lights in the bushes instead. But the entire road is already ablaze with multi-coloured flashing, and I don't really want to be seen to be taking part in all that. On the other hand, do I wish mine to be the Only Unilluminated House in the Village? People might conclude that I'm a Grumpy Old Woman! (as if . . .)

em said...

I couldn't have said it better myself!
May I join GOWATCL - where do I apply?
I have found a tree on our property that I'll cut on the 23rd - and dress on the morning of Christmas Eve (which is the day we celebrate here).

Juliet said...

Margaretha - you are most welcome to join GOWATCL. The more the merrier (or grumpier). It is very good to know that I'm not the only one who suffers from this seasonal allergy!

Jane Badger said...

Juliet - we too have some tasteful white lights for outside, but since we cut the holly tree down, having finally given up hope that it would recover from its ghastly disease (and a bald holly tree is a very sad sight) there is nowhere to put them, unless they go on the house..... um. Do let us know what you do!