Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas, Milton Keynes's Style

Since 2008, I have been reporting on a strange, Yuletide complaint, namely that a minority of the population feel obliged to visit a Christmas "theme park" at Christmas-time. This is an odd facet for a festival that is defined by its artificiality. After all, every shop, office, factory, domestic home and public space turns into a Christmas theme park at Christmas, what with piped carols, festive trees, fairy lights and ropes of tinsel. Well, unbelievably, it has happened again, this time in the wilderness of Milton Keynes, where a Winter Wonderland was forced to close after one day's trading, following complaints by punters of a Santa Claus that was too young and skinny to be authentic and an ice-rink supposedly made of plastic. Sure, it's execrable greed and fraud on the part of the purveyors but really, I'm beginning to run out of sympathy for the soi-disant victims. Surely folks with a wad of dosh to dispose of upon seasonal delights should have learned by now that the best Christmas themed events ever take place in shopping malls. The nearest one to me boasts a tableau of singing teddy bears, a giant tree, bars and restaurants, and a raft of shops selling every luxury on the planet - what better place to have a Christmas spending blow-out, followed by a rib-straining meal with Partner and children? After all, apart from a few brief days around two thousand years ago, Christmas has ceased to be a real place. Christmas is where we choose to make it, rendering our surroundings jolly and comfortable for our Loved Ones. Most of all, though, Christmas is the goodness and cheer we carry in our hearts. How and wherever you choose to spend Christmas 2013, have a peacful and happy time.

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