Monday, 14 January 2013

Easter and other celebrations

I’m sure that the appearance of chocolate eggs and other Easter themed sweets in the supermarkets just a day or two into the new year, and alongside the leftover Christmas chocolate, will have sent some people into paroxysms of outrage. And possibly it should. But on the other hand we had Christmas for more than three months, so why can’t another somewhat faux Christian festival get similar billing? It seems only fair after all.
Sadly for the supermarkets though, this only fills up the seasonal shelves for six months of the year – so what else can they fill them with the rest of the time, in this bizarre world that is a mix of austerity and not being able to wait a couple of months for something and having to splurge in advance then failing to remember what it even was when it arrives?
Between Easter and Halloween there is a seven month lag, and besides Halloween being so late in the year it’s just a sideshow compared to Christmas; in a similar way, Valentine’s Day is to Easter. So what festivals can we bring into the fold? Mother’s Day? No, this is a day for flowers and not bringing your dirty washing home for a weekend.
So what about St Patrick’s Day? Well, there is only so far you can go with Guinness and shamrock themed chocolates, so that won’t work. St George’s Day? Never! Far too patriotic for us Brits.
There is still a nagging void of six months here.
Of course as spring starts to gently nudge itself into being, the bluebells appearing, lighter evenings, and drunks staying out for longer in our cherished open spaces of concrete paths and piles of polystyrene takeaway dishes, we start to think of summer barbeques.
So how about chocolates inspired by burnt sausages or rain soaked coals? And perhaps gift sets containing a mini pot of white spirit and a mini blow torch for those who struggle to get their fire lit? Of course this also requires a mini first aid kit for when it all goes combustively wrong.
Perhaps chocolate skewers pierced with marzipan shaped beef chunks and pepper pieces, or chicken breast white chocolate, which when bitten into oozes out red jelly sauce in imitation of their undercooked varieties?
Any of this sound appealing yet, or is this an idea deserving of abandonment?
Another favourite pastime of the summer is sunbathing, which generally involves lying out naked in the fifteen minutes of sun that deigns to show itself to this island every year. In which case how about a man or woman shaped doll which is bright red, with a couple of white patches in the appropriate areas? Then, a couple of weeks after unwrapping it you can slowly peel off the outer layer to reveal another and so on. This could be the English equivalent of the Russian nested dolls or fantastic for a pass the parcel.
With the summer season dealt with we can now turn ourselves to autumn. Generally this lends itself to the traditional three words of terror which infect every child’s heart, ‘Back to School’, with numerous amounts of pencils, erasers and jotters which never see the light of day again until the loft is cleared out twenty years later.
Of course there is also Harvest Festival, which conjures up memories of school auctions of food for charity which always contained marrowfat peas (whatever they are) and Stagg chilli. Not surprisingly these were put into the bags for the following year.
Perhaps the supermarkets could follow a similar route and have a massive sale of all their unsold stock of diaries from five years ago, and any remaining Charles and Diana crockery that is lying in the back of the storerooms?
September often sees the retirees taking their shoulder season holidays with all the kids back at school, so how about something seasonal to appeal to them? Toffees that won’t stick to your dentures or mixtures of old fashioned boiled sweets, each of which sets off a story with which to bore your younger relatives?
Possibly a special gift pack of rose-tinted sherry glasses, a handful of name labels and a mini bottle of TCP? After all you never know when it will come in handy.

I think there are plenty of ideas there for the advertising executives to get their cocaine stained teeth into throughout the rest of the year, but perhaps we’re missing the whole point? After all, why should anything have its own season these days, with read on demand books, view on demand television and films, why can’t we have Christmas on demand?
It would make a lot of sense when you think about it.
No more log jams of bank holidays when it’s dark and cold outside and you can’t do anything, celebrate your Christmas in June. No more looking up when Easter falls this year, hold it on the same day every year if you want. No more special opening hours for shops, too bad if you want to have your Spring Bank Holiday in October.
In fact, why even bother with days of the week? Just do what you want I say, as long as you enjoy yourself doing it.

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