Don’t burst our bauble

Now don’t get me wrong- I am a true supporter of the notion that the real message of Christmas is being lost in a sea of commercial greed, competitive present buying and people who don’t even know what ‘Christ’s Mass’ is. However, in today’s world, we of all people should know, that there is no way of saving an internationally popular event such as Christmas from being commercialised. Companies will produce TV adverts, Christmas or no Christmas and I for one think it’s great that at least once a year we will get to experience more than just Kerry Katona slapping her own bum and telling us ‘that’s why mums go to Iceland.’ Once a year, supermarket adverts might actually make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Some, such as the most recent Sainsbury’s advert even have the power to teach the masses about a poignant historical moment when the magic of Christmas brought together two fighting armies in The Great War on Christmas eve. Yes, we all got that ‘this is wrong’ pang when we saw the Sainsbury’s logo but didn’t the, ‘how amazing is it that the spirit of Christmas can brighten even the darkest of moments’ feeling overshadow that? Saint Nicholas aka Nikolaos of MyraThe Grinches of this Whoville also need to realise that if they are to shun Christmas adverts because they commercialise Christmas, then they may as well shun half of the themes and traditions naturally associated with it.  This is anything from the giving of presents which began as a representation of the three kings bringing Jesus gifts on Epiphany and has now become retail’s biggest cash cow to the popular representation of Santa. Did ‘Santa Claus’ always wear red? No. Originally, Saint Nicholas was a Bishop’s robe-clad clerical Turkish man, sanctified for his love and generosity towards children. Santa Claus was depicted in many ways until in 1931 Coca-Cola began placing Santa in adverts in popular magazines with a red coat- and tadah-you have not only the modern day ‘traditional’ Santa Claus but the base colour scheme for an entire popular festivity. Therefore, separating Christmas from commercialism is nigh-impossible. The fact of the matter is that we all love the build-up to Christmas and for many seeing the most famous TV ads for the first time marks the start of the best time of the year, so why burst our bauble?Coca Cola Christmas I would even go as far as to say that the build-up beats most of the actual day’s events; the last bumps in the toe of my stocking are always satsumas and I dread to think I’ve reached an age when I will be obliged to help with Christmas dinner by sticking my hand up a turkey to pull out the giblets this year. Admittedly, some of the adverts are questionable (such as Asda’s two years ago) and I am not condoning the use of religion for commercial purposes at all. I am merely saying that you either abandon the modern day perception of Christmas entirely, or you just embrace the fact that these ads bring a lot of people a lot of happiness and cheer and that in itself is a valid enough reason, in my opinion, for their existence. After all, Elf was not mistaken when he said that ‘the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.’