What is is about Christmas that brings the bad out in people?
Is it stress of spending too much, panic about not getting the correct gift, or is is catchy from other stress heads? People can be rude, impatient and just down-right horrid at this time of year.
Do you remember, way back, when Christmas Day carried on into Boxing Day? Two whole days when the family sat in one room, eating rubbish, watching rubbish, and talking rubbish. Some folk had a nice walk on Boxing Day to blow away those Christmas cobwebs, some folk made left-over lunches out of turkey, some folk went out with their kid's to play with their new bikes/footballs/roller skates (delete as necessary).
But now? Now the Christmas festivities are over as soon as we hit the hay on Christmas night. Boxing Day is for the sales, for putting all the pressies away, for making the living room look like Christmas had just not happened.
Lots of people have to work, granted. We need our emergency services, fire, police and paramedics, not to mention those who have to work in utilities. BUT, do we need to open shops on Boxing Day? Do we need hospitality staff to serve us dinner on Christmas Day? Do we NEED it?
No, we do not.
Imagine if we stopped and thought for a while. Let's cook our own Christmas dinner (it's really not that difficult, and if you simply cannot cook, go buy it all ready to bung in the oven from Iceland!) and save the poor waiting staff, bar staff and kitchen staff all having to give up spending Christmas Day with their families to wait on our lazy butts. I get that there is no mess to clean up if you go out (there is, someone else does it) but if you delegate jobs it can be an easier task all round.
We don't NEED corner shops to be open because we have forgotten baby milk/tin of peas/toilet roll. Preparation is the key, and I am sure if we tried really hard we could write a list and make sure we had all the essentials in ready for those TWO days the shops would be closed.
As for the Boxing Day Sales, they astound me. I have had people sympathising with me for "having to work Boxing Day" whilst standing in the shop with a basket of shopping. Yeah, I have to work it because folk like you want to shop!
What happened was that once upon a time some silly bloke, who had a shop, got himself all concerned about people spending their Christmas pennies in other shops, so to try and beat this he opened on Boxing Day when all the other shop keepers were sitting watching films and eating mince pies. All the bored folk went to his shop and spent their pennies on his stuff. The other shop keepers were most unhappy, so the next year they all decided to open too and the money was shared equally. What they haven't quite worked out yet is if they have a pact all to stay shut on boxing Day, the pennies will still be there on the 27th for folk to spend in their shops ;) Plus the staff, managers, delivery drivers, cleaners etc... etc.... will all get a nice extra day off too! It is a bank holiday after all.
So what would be really really great, is that next year we all boycott the Boxing Day sales, we all refuse to go out for dinner on Christmas Day and we all stay at home for two whole days and enjoy our families company.
Whose with me?