Christmas in July

The Christmas spirit invades the merchants as early as July.

I remember when, as boss of Mappin & Webb, I introduced many of our sumptuous gifts destined for the festive season through a well-orchestrated presentation to the press, calling the event ‘Christmas in July’.

The campaign was a big success insofar as it gave the media the insight of what was planned to lure the public to spend their money, without scratching their brains at the last minute to find something suitable for the Christmas bonanza-buying madness.

I think many of the shops are now following suit by initiating their planning to blitzkrieg their onslaught on the public once the summer fades away and winter begins in earnest.

The big question now is whether the public has the inclination or the means to spend without restraint, given the financial state of the world and the precarious political instability that threatens the return of the Cold War and the consequences that follow.

In addition, although we talk about growth and seem to infer that the recession is practically over – despite the unbridled increase in our National Debt and the signs that all is not well, even with Germany and Japan and the threat of global stagnation – the omens don’t look promising.

My Christmas will not have the razzmatazz that I once had in my youth. I shall simply celebrate by closing my eyes to that which surrounds us and switch off, in order to amass my energies for the unpredictable events that might engulf us in the months ahead.

As one gets older the pursuit of recognition and wealth no longer mean a great deal. We become immune to the destiny that hovers in our vicinity and accept matters the way they are.

My Christmas resolution this year is to remain conscious that perhaps I’m reaching the end of the road where eternal contentment replaces all worldly ambitions and a ray of heavenly light transports us to a well-deserved slumber.

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