So there are less than 24 hours left before Christmas, and taking advantage of the fact that I have the day off on what is still a working day for the majority of the population, I popped to the supermarkets to get some last minute things. It was quieter that it would have been at the weekend, but still very busy.
That said, what was pleasant was that no one seemed to be getting to irate with others. Lots seemed to be pushing their trolleys in a bit of a daze, but those that were a bit more ‘aware’ seemed in good spirits. I had a number of conversations at the tills, something that doesn’t normally happen, but was due, I suspect, to the fact that Christmas can bring out peoples more social side. You see the same when we have lots of snowfall (at least we do in the south where it’s not so common), where people you meet out and about are more willing to nod, say hello and chat. For me it’s a glimpse of what we lost as a national in terms of community.
I have to say though, that I did feel that there was a less palatable side to my trips out, and again, it was something observed in the supermarkets. Something that really hit home to me, walking down the isles, was the amount of alcohol that was looking to be ‘shipped’ today. The normal shelf space was clearly deemed insufficient, even when combined with the extra offers near the entrances. Down one isle, there were extra crates of beers two or three deep, narrowing the isle considerably, but clearly indicating that it was felt to be necessary to keep the sales going.
Often people will enjoy extra drinks at Christmas (I’m driving so won’t be!) but I found the sheer level at which this was being pushed was disturbing, and wonder what it says about us as a nation and possibly the feeling that we need to have considerable amounts to drink. Possibly people feel they need it to enjoy themselves, possibly they feel it’s needed to survive the relatives. Probably there are a myriad of other reasons as well.
Will this continue in the future, especially if the government puts on a tax per unit, I don’t know. The sheer amounts of alcohol being sold can’t be good though, unless it’s being bought for the whole year, which I somehow doubt.
Personally I’ll be enjoying the first part of this post’s Christmas spirit and hoping that it can last longer than Christmas.