Time to get into festive mood
Buckle down – there are just 17 days left to complain about how commercialised Christmas has become. If you note a hint of sarcasm in this remark, dear reader, you are not mistaken – I’m arguably South Africa’s most dedicated champion for the real Christmas miracle: commercialising the stuffing out of the festive season.
Open your eyes: for an economy as fragile as ours, an annual season of retail indulgence bigger than Black Friday, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day all rolled into one, is nothing less than a godsend.
This very week, our dear President Jacob Zuma has called for a stronger manufacturing sector in Africa, because it’s a rich continent, but its residents are living in poverty. Am I the only one noticing the irony in the fact that it is him saying it?
He’s right, of course, in the long run a powerful industrial sector which can process the continent’s abundant resources will be our only salvation.
But in the short term, particularly in this southern corner of Africa, we are kept afloat by Boney M in the supermarkets, Sinatra in the malls and Christmas lights on every second house and tree.
We may have our own selfish reasons to try to keep Christmas wrapped up in a blanket of exclusivity, but if we truly want to make it a season to be jolly, we have to embrace the commercial soul of the holidays.
Many retail businesses only survive on the hope of a good Christmas. It has the ability to get money out of admittedly stressed consumers’ pockets and into cash registers. It creates jobs and puts food on many empty tables. And it awakens a spirit of charity and donation in most of us.
And I can’t see how any religion can be opposed to a scenario where people have jobs, manage to feed their children and give to those less fortunate.
Dear reader, if I may ask just one thing of you for the next 17 days: Don’t be the Grinch.
If you want to complain about “how commercialised it has all become”, rather keep it a Silent Night. Sing your carols with gusto, be charmed by the lights and invest at least a small portion of that bonus in this wonderful, commercial season.
Christmas keeps South Africa’s economic engine oiled, it feeds and clothes its citizens and it puts smiles on faces.
I can’t think of any other part of year that can replace it.