With community editor
SO, WE’RE into December and I was just about prepared to accept that Christmas was three weeks away and that it might be time to be thinking festive thoughts and going out on a gift shopping expedition.
And then I watched the television pictures of the mayhem that accompanied Black Friday when, apparently, all and sundry head to the shops to try to grab a pre-Christmas bargain.
I have to confess that I’ve sometimes watched with mild amusement the start of the world famous Harrod’s sale when thousands of people charge through the doors of the Knightsbridge store to scramble for a new dinner service or a top-of-therange sit-on lawn mower (presumably to keep the cook or the gardener happy so they won’t bowl off to take employment with Lord and Lady Grumpfuttock…)
But when you see apparently rational human beings smashing into each other with fists, boots and virtually anything else that comes to hand to grab a £300 TV that was made in China and will probably last about two months before it breaks down, you have to ask yourself: ‘What kind of a world are we living in – and what are we teaching our children and grandchildren about decent behaviour?’
I like a bargain as much as the next man but I don’t believe I’d stoop to punching a fellow bargain hunter in the face to secure my prize. Life is just too short for that kind of nonsense.
And, in any event, what has that kind of behaviour got to do with the Christmas spirit?
You know – love and friendship, peace on Earth and goodwill to all men (and women for that matter).
Those images will haunt me for a long while – the looks of pure hatred on some faces as they dragged and wrestled boxes from one another’s grasp.
It was one of the saddest sights I’ve seen in the past 64 years.
Isn’t it about time we got things back in perspective and just enjoyed Christmas for what it is – a religious celebration of the birth of Christ for some or, for others, just a few days away from work to enjoy the company of family and friends.
The one thing it shouldn’t denote is the outbreak of World War Three…