As the monster of the consumerist season of Christmas is ready to meet us head on, what should be a time of joy and refreshment, becomes for many a time when all the conflicting demands and expectations that we experience every day in our dispersed and fragmented lives seem at their worst and we end up on a crash course for survival.
It is like many holidays, a time when expectations are maximised.
Yet debt, needy in-laws, fractious kids, Christmas card lists, useless and unneeded presents, excess food and drink can all sharply pinpoint the ironies of the season:
It is odd, when the Christmas story is about God coming to earth to pay our debts, to show us how to live, to show us what being truly human could look like, that we respond by running up even more debt."
This sickening advertisement sums up the grotesque caricature that Christmas has become to signify for so many.:-the super rich giving each other obscenely over-extravagant presents at a time of grinding economic misery really pierces to the heart of Christ.
"Harrods has unveiled a one million US dollars Advent calendar that features a collection of remarkable gifts. The luxury advent calendar was designed by Porsche Design. The Calendar will be showcased in the London store's menswear department until Friday 3rd December 2010.
The calendar's 24 windows will reveal a luxury item from Porsche Design each day in the build up to Christmas. Three items include a Porsche Design P'6910 Indicator Chronograph in rose gold, an individually customisable Porsche Design Kitchen, and a 8.5 metre long RFF28 Speedboat.
The whole message gets screwed up.
What we need is to take a deep breath, and gain some perspective.