Friday, January 04, 2008

'Twas the season

As a throwaway line in my last entry I mentioned that the family had decided not to do the present thing over Christmas (except for the kids), personally this has been my wish and philosophy for at least the last 10 years possibly even longer.

"It's the time of giving and receiving, so go out there and shop" say the businesses
"It's the thought that counts" say the people who give you a £2 book token for a store 100 miles away from you, and a hand-knitted bright red and green bobble hat.
"It's the time for families to get together" say the transport companies as they announce major new works starting over the period.

My problem has always been with the never really considered first part of these sentiments "It's the time".
"So what you're saying is we should give our nearest and dearest presents and spend time with them?"
"Yes that's right"
"And then neglect them for the rest of the year?"
"Um no"
"So what makes this 'time' special"
"Well everyone else is doing it"

and that's about it. Buy someone a £100 camera in June because you saw it and thought they'd like it, but get them nothing at Christmas and you're a miserly humbug. So I'm supposed to buy something now, but wait to give it to because that's what everyone else does?

Same with birthdays I mean if I lived in a war-torn/famine-stricken/disease-ridden place then surviving a year is a big deal, but "Congratulations you've managed to live another year in this cosseted society we call England probably through no real effort on your part. So here, on a day you had no say in determining, is a present for you" rings a little hollow to me. Sure 18, 21, 60-whatever the retirement age is now are a cause of celebration, but that's more a legal nicety that means you can vote, stand for Parliament, or retire to stack shelves at the supermarket.

Maybe it's me? I just don't get the whole 'On this day you will get a present for someone' mandatory society option; why do I need a special day or time to buy someone a gift? The answer, quite simply, is that I don't.


Invisible said...

My mum takes the opposite approach.

In fact, I was about to write a 3-trillion line essay about my mother's approach, but you know what? I'm going to write it in my blog, and you can read it there, OK? :-)

FlipC said...

The link to which is here.

And there I was thinking you'd post it in p.o.t. just to wind-up Mueen et al :-)

Invisible said...

Nope. I posted it here instead:

Read it and… er… weep, actually. :-S