17/09/2013

Controversy surrounding the use of the C-word


The C-word is one of the most contested words in the English language.  ‘Not appropriate’, ‘unnecessary’, and ‘uncalled for’ are just a few of the ways its use is condemned.  I am, of course, talking about Christmas.  Scrooges across the land hate the word even being mentioned before 1stDecember; but with 99 days until the big day it would seem that the countdown is on for some.
 
Advent calendars, selection boxes and mince pies are already claiming their shelf space in supermarkets and it won’t be long before Christmas adverts are being sneakily slipped in the breaks between Corrie. 
 
A lot of people complain about the use of the C-word any earlier than December itself, but it pays to be organised for this time of year.  Christmas shopping is as equally enjoyable as it is stressful.  Late night shopping in York is one of my favourite times of year – getting all wrapped up and wandering around the streets lined with Christmas lights while enjoying a Baileys hot chocolate.  But it is equally stressful with crowds of people bustling around desperate to find a bargain and to grab the latest top presents.
 
Every year you hear of friends and family who claim they are starting their Christmas shopping ‘early this year’.  My friend said it to me just the other day – and we are only mid-September!
 
Yes, being organised has its benefits.  The cost is spread out over a longer period so seems much less harsh; and you can avoid the hustle and bustle that is the last few shopping days before Christmas.  But you can’t beat that Christmassy feeling you get when you are strolling through the streets all wrapped up while a brass band play Christmas songs or a choir entertain with well-known carols.
 
I love Christmas.  Winter nights getting cosy in front of the fire; eating your body weight in seasonal goodies; and parties left, right and centre.  There are bank holidays galore and the January sales are just around the corner.  Huge tins of chocolates are practically being given away by supermarkets and the Coca Cola advert is on television.  And, of course, not forgetting the work Christmas do.  (Unfortunately for me, I have forgotten everything that happened on my Christmas do last year.  Except the fact I ended up in A&E the next morning.)
 
It’s acceptable to watch Elf, The Polar Express, and The Grinch; as well as the hundreds of other festive films.  There are Christmas specials of your favourite television shows; The X Factor final is nearing; there’s a race for the coveted ‘Christmas Number One’ (with not a Christmas song in sight); and Slade, Mariah Carey, and Wham are played everywhere you go. 
 
Everyone dreams of a ‘White Christmas’ and gets excited at the first snowfall; the outdoor ice rinks pop up across the country; and the mulled wine is back (wahoo!).  John Lewis outdoes its previous Christmas advert; everything sparkles and is covered in glitter; and Christmas decorations are suspended, stuck, and stood on any available space.  Most importantly, you get to see friends and family who you normally don’t get chance to catch up with. 
 
For people with young children Christmas is a magical time, and they probably avoid the use of the C-word too early to prevent too much excitement building up.  Although, the threat that Santa can see everything that is going on is an excellent tactic to use all year round.  The anticipation on Christmas Eve and the elation on Christmas morning is something that cannot be described.  Gathered around the tree with your loved ones, opening presents, chocolate for breakfast, enjoying the smell of the Christmas dinner cooking away...
 
If you aren’t excited about Christmas after reading all of that, come back in a month.  99 days is a long way off, after all, with Halloween and bonfire night to come first.  But get used to the C-word being dropped more and more often as we inch closer and closer to the festive period.
 
Of course, there are still going to be those who are unable to get excited about Christmas.  Whilst it is a happy time for the majority of people it is tinged with sadness for some.  This must always be remembered when Christmas is being forced upon them by every high street, television screen, and radio in the land.  Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to spend Christmas with their loved ones and all of us who are must be very grateful for that fact. 

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