Opinions DifferCategory: Customs + Festivals
“Yes, it’s with us once more, the whole great colourful display, an inflated commercial free-for-all with its artificial frost and plastic robins and reindeer, a profitable industry of trees and tinsel and turkey, puddings and presents and paper hats.
For all that frippery it’s still the time of good will.”
“Christmas — bah! I loathe Christmas. Not on antireligious grounds. I just cannot stand the commercial hoohah and the way people stuff and drink themselves silly every December 25.”
“For Aunt Alice, a feather-filled cushion; for little Ronnie, a set of building blocks;’for Uncle Tom, an antler-headed, self-operating, corkscrew; for Betty, a Japanese bamboo insect brooch; for the baby, a Russian rubber squeaking horse; for cousin Josie, a Vietnamese lacy white basket; for Betty’s little girl a pair of hand-knitted mitts; and for Chris and Joan, who are getting married in the New Year, Japanese red-lidded soup bowls.”
In Dickens’s time, the Saviour’s birthday was celebrated merely by over-eating and drunkenness. Except for the servants, nobody received a present. Today Christmas is a major factor in our capitalist economy. A season of mere good cheer has been converted, by the steady application of propaganda, into a long-drawn buying spree, in the course of which everyone is under compulsion to exchange gifts with everyone else — to the immense enrichment of merchants and manufacturers.
(Adonis and the Alphabet by Aldous Huxley)
“Christmas,” wrote Bernard Shaw bitterly, “is forced on a reluctant nation by the shopkeepers and the Press.”