Saturday, 30 November 2013

Fireworks and such.

Earlier this evening I heard the sound of fireworks somewhere in our vicinity. It was a little early for someone to be celebrating their birthday. Usually that would be at the end of an evening, not at the start. Looking out of the window, I saw a splendid firework display over Delph Village. It was then that I remembered that at 4.30 this afternoon they were having the official switching on of the Christmas Lights (official and, therefore, with capital L for lights!) in Delph. The fireworks must have been the culmination of the festivities. Even though I never had any intention of going and standing in the square to ooh and aah as fairy lights were switched on, I was quite glad for those who enjoy such things that they had a fine crisp late afternoon for it and not one of the soggier offerings that our area so often suffers. The fireworks were very fine and just enough not be excessive in this time of austerity measures.

 And so Christmas has officially started around here. Last night, in another of the Saddleworth villages, children from the local primary schools sang carols under the village Christmas tree as part of their light switching on festivities. Who says that the British don’t know how to do festivities? 

However, some people are concerned that carol singing may have to disappear because of new legislation recently introduced. Apparently ASBOs (anti-social behaviour orders) are being replaced by IPNOs (injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance) and there are fears that these may be used against carol singers or even to stop ten year old boys playing football noisily in the park, not to mention political activists such as Peter Tatchell addressing issues in public! 

They probably won’t stop people crowding rather aggressively into shopping centres to do their Christmas shopping. And I wonder if I can organise one against people who post on Facebook that they have already wrapped up all the Christmas presents they intend to give this year. Surely being so organised takes the fun out of Christmas panic shopping! I hear that there is a kind of unwritten agreement in the USA not to start Christmas shopping until Thanksgiving is out of the way. Sound quite good to me! Mind you, I bet loads of people ignore that idea totally: the smug ones who want to make others feel inferior. 

Then there’s the question of HOW you shop. I read something today which said that women like to actually see the object they intend to buy but even taking that into account, the majority of shoppers at this time of the year go to the shops just to look and choose and then order the goods more cheaply through Amazon. This even works for buying presents for their children. They take the little dears to window shop, the children point to items saying, “I want this and this and this and this and this” and then the parents go away and order it. No longer do Santa’s little elves slave away to make children’s dreams come true, workers in warehouses run around to fill people’s on-line “shopping baskets”. 

As for me, I have a few items, chosen and purchased as the whim took me, stowed away in cupboards away from prying eyes. I just hope I can remember where I put them when the time comes to wrap everything ready for the big day, along with all the stuff not yet selected. 

Ah, well, today we got our first Christmas card of the season. I suppose I’d better buy some cards, dig out the address book and get started!

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