Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Ho Ho Ho Merry Humbug

They say that “things aren’t what they used to be” a thought that sometimes I believe in, and others I dismiss totally. But as far Christmas is concerned it is certainly true. It just isn’t the same anymore. When you finally grow up and reach adulthood, something must just click in your head and say “Its Christmas and you officially hate it.” Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t particularly hate it but it just isn’t the same. Ok so the excitement of opening toys of course goes as you get older (more of that later…) but its whole thing. It just isn’t the same.
When you were at school there was the build up, I suppose finishing a week or so before the big day (sic) helped, now you just work up til Christmas Eve and then have to battle in the traffic to get home at dinner as everyone else has been given an early dart. When you get home, it isn’t the same either. When you were a kid, your parents made an effort for you, decorations everywhere, streamers from one corner of the ceiling to the other and lights all round the window. And you couldn’t wait to get the tree up, always a real one, with dropping needles that went from floor to ceiling. Nowadays it’s just a small water feature on the coffee table and one of those fibre optic trees that change colour every twenty seconds. Like I say, not the same.

And then we get to the gifts and toys themselves. These days it’s all Playstations and Xboxes and Ipods. Gone are the days of the street being full, by 10am, of kids riding their new Raleigh Grifters (or in my case the Grifter XL, always been a step ahead) wearing the new cowboy or astronaut outfit their favourite Auntie and Uncle have bought for them. These days you could fire a cannon down most streets on Christmas Day and not hit anyone.

In the past the tele companies used to make an effort. We all know about the Morecambe and Wise specials and the size of audiences they used to get, and of course you would have the blockbuster film as well as festive specials of all the top TV shows. Nowadays all we get is the soaps building up to either a death, birth or marriage, there must be so many anniversaries in Walford, Weatherfield and Beckindale on Dec 25th, I don’t know how they keep track. The only specials you get these days are repeats of ones you have seen over and over (I hope Miami Twice isn’t on again or I swear I will kill someone) a Bond film that was probably on at Easter and a convoluted Top of the Pops that probably won’t show all the No 1’s of the year as it used to. In fact the only thing that will be worth watching will be the Dr Who special as usual. The week between Christmas and New Year used to always be a TV highlight as well, with stuff such as The Monkees, Snoopy and Woodstock and episodes of Wait till you Father gets Home, now all you get are repeats of The Great Escape and that bloody giant Digby dog.

For some reason, it seems these days that the weather isn’t as good as it just to be. Now I certainly don’t remember any Bing style white Christmases, but I remember Christmas Day being bright and crisp, these days, it just seems dull and damp. Or are we back to the tele again there.

And the parties aren’t the same. In the past, it was having the odd can that your old man used to let you have, usually a Skol or Lancashire Bitter (15p a can from Fine Fare), now you can buy what you want and sup it anytime you wish. In fact do people have get togethers anymore? I used to always look forward to long lost relatives and friends coming round, bringing cheap ale and presents, now it’s a flick through Sky to see if there are any repeats of the Les Dennis and Dustin Gee Christmas Madhouse on some obscure channel with a bowl of Bombay mix and a bottle of Becks.

Writing this has turned me into a broken man, I want my Christmas back, I want Morecambe and Wise, though I appreciate that maybe difficult, I want my cans of Skol and most of all I want my cowboy outfit, it’s just not fair.

Steve Wood

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