My year is affected by three ‘end of the year’ events. The first is school term beginning in September, the second is the end of daylight savings and the third is Christmas. All three are foreshadowed by the summer solstice when on June 22 the days start to shorten in length. I then start to think that darkness is coming and I should enjoy every moment of sunlight while it lasts. I also think that work wise we are entering the slow period of summer and that lastly, I should do my Christmas shopping early this year. But alas I don’t, and all I have is one gift to buy!
Do you realize how much our life rotates around Christmas? The economy is totally dependent on the sales at Christmas. The news corps watch the sales indicators and daily make dire predictions throughout December of the state of the economy based on Christmas sales. They refer to the fact that it is so bad the major chains are running their ‘after Christmas’ sales before Christmas to generate sales. They predict store closures and certain economic disaster for the country based on Christmas sales.
Work winds down in December other than in retail sales. Try getting something done by someone between the 15th and January 4th! People are in party mode. Try booking a venue for a staff Christmas party in December. Some companies are now waiting until January to have the party. Airlines love it as people are getting together to celebrate this festive season so they put up their prices.
Advertising at this time of the year tugs on the heartstrings. Family, joy, and excitement all weave a magical time of the year through the wonders of computer graphics and soft drink mega budgets. Where would we be without that long cool refreshing bottle of carbonated water? Advertising is all about families enjoying each other, painting a picture that few if any families can live up to.
It is interesting how much guilt Christmas brings. Something that was initiated to celebrate an event that would remove our guilt has now been turned into something that creates guilt to drive our economy. Christmas spawns despair now rather than hope for many people. It would be good to spend some time reminding ourselves of the reason for the season so that all the other activities once again make sense.