This December in the UK has been decidedly different from any other Christmas in recent times. Instead of wrapping up warm in our winter woolies, we’re peeling off the layers in the unseasonably mild weather. Temperatures hitting the mid-teens in Celsius have become the norm and we’re continually opening the windows in the office to let the cool air in.
So this has made me think about what’s changed about the Christmas period over the years. As a child, I noticed the nation’s mild obsession with whether it’ll be a white Christmas. This doesn’t seem so important anymore, especially as most of the UK doesn’t receive even a flake.
Another aspect that’s changed is shopping and the sales. Back at the beginning of the nineties, winter sale shopping was virtually confined to Boxing Day and beyond. Also, Internet and mobile shopping didn’t exist so you took a trip out the High Street in person. Now the major end of season discounts start way before Christmas, in early December. Retailers try to lure us away from Christmas parties with online previews and fantastic offers.
The battle for Christmas TV used to be between Coronation St and Eastenders but now Downton Abbey is in the fray. Although it must be noted that it’s the latter’s final episode ever this year. We have so much more choice in our viewing like the many digital channels and on-demand streaming services such as Netflix where you can avoid Christmas programming altogether.
But there is one thing I personally hope won’t change and that’s a desire to spend time with family and friends and looking out for people who would value your company during the festive period. This is what we’ll all remember affectionately beyond the comings and goings of the changing world.