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Earlier every year...

By Winfred Peppinck

Maybe it’s just me, but it does appear that Christmas “comes earlier”, each year.

I don’t mean the date changes, it has been December 25 every year, since the Fourth Century in the Christian calendar, to commemorate the most accepted date of the birth of Jesus Christ, in Bethlehem.

I am talking about the earlier and earlier commercial coming of Christmas!

That is when the commercial “spiel”, starts, and often that can be in the early October, almost three months before December 25.

And each year, the subtle hints are lobbed, in all forms of public and commercial media, especially television.

In the old, “politically incorrect” palaver, there were always ads to suggest, “buy mum a washing machine!”

Children didn’t have that sort of money, but it was sent as a subliminal message to fathers at home!

“You know dad, mum needs a new whizz bang washing machine, and what about a new television too, why don’t you buy her one for Christmas?”

Oh yes, Mum would love that

“And by the way, dad I wouldn’t mind a new iPhone in my Christmas stocking”.

Brashness, directness, for today’s youth, is in!

Santa is getting older, and a bit forgetful, so he needs a few reminders!

And I recall Bahrain gets in to the “Santa business“ too.

The City Mall always had quite an early, extensive display of a Christmas scene, well before the Christmas period, once used to be commemorated closer to the actual December 25 day.

And as in many locations around the world, including Bahrain, the scenery was often conveyed as being set in a “faux snow” construed “atmosphere”, incongruous in places like Australia, where Christmas is usually as hot as Hades, the shrimps are on the barbie, the coldies are in the icebox!”

Then to, Halloween has become everyone’s fancy, the ancient Celtic belief in ghosts and goblins, ridiculously popular in the US, now hugely popular in Australia too, and other countries as well.

People love dressing up as witches or dark hatted, children with stove piped ‘Toppers”, with an army of children knocking on doors, asking if the householder wants to “trick or treat?”

A trick is usually followed by little dance or song, and a mandatory reward.

A child once played Yankee Doodle for me on a flute; impressive!

Usually good fun, but these days children are accompanied by a parent.

The commercialism of these events, but makes me look askance, churlish, over the top, without me being seen as a Scrooge!

As a Dutch Aussie child, I looked forward to St Nicholas arriving on the “Steamboat” from Spain (usually a ferry!), mounted on a white horse, accompanied by knaves (then called Black Peters – from the soot you see!), and riding through the streets of my native Perth, together with his accompanying helpers, tossing ginger bread sweets, through the street throng.

Good clean fun, no drugs larrikins or graffiti, ah those were the days, my friends.

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