Thursday, 20 December 2007
There’s this funny word we have to describe this two-month cheeriness that’s supposed to wrap around us like a warm hug at the end of the year — Christmastime. It’s not Christmas, which is only a day and usually anticlimactic, with brunch and a movie maybe. Or Christmas Eve, which is really what Christmastime is whetting your appetite for.
The odd thing is that it seems like department stores are largely responsible anyway for Christmastime wherever Christmastime is a real phenomenon. Here in London, it’s in full bloom. Lights are strung in the trees on Oxford Street, and department stores like Marks & Spencer are wrapped in glitter. Maybe the feeling of Christmastime itself is best described as feeling like you are wrapped from head to toe in blinking Christmas lights from November to December.
A few weeks ago I was walking along Regent Street contemplating all this when, here and there, I began to see little white flecks fluttering down from the sky. I thought it was confetti or bits of trash. Then, as I continued walking, more white confetti, tossed by the wind. I caught a piece. It melted imperceptibly between my fingers. Seriously? London’s first snow, on Regent Street? As I’m contemplating Christmastime here? This can’t be real.
I looked up toward the torrent of tumbling snowflakes: fake. They were shooting out from above Hamleys toy store. So London and L.A. aren’t so different, I guess.
I continued on. It was nearing 6 p.m., and the crowds on the street were getting to be nearly impenetrable. This was the day that the Apple Store a few meters ahead was about to open its doors to an iPhone-crazed public. Guards in luminous jackets stood watch.
The doors opened. The mob went ballistic. Passersby spilled into the curbside lane; buses, now immobile, honked in protest. Arms rose into the air, cameras in hand, snapping pictures of the commotion, like a late 80s rave in a cold field in surry. They could have been hands held up in adoration of a new religious leader, possibly the second coming had finally arrived.
There was an uproar coming from inside the Apple store. I couldn’t tell whether it was from the employees or from customers who had just rushed in. It came in waves. How best to describe the din … maybe if John Lennon (Yoko era) had just then resurrected , long hair flowing (Jesus-like), descending the glass staircase while tossing roses to a throng of rapturous Beatles fans, the sound would have come close.
It was madness and materialism and a £269 phone. Fake snow was falling across the street. Yep, it’s Christmastime. and I have seen the true sign of the lord and its in the shape of a white half eaten apple. Hosanah in the highest... !
I wish you a hopefull Christmas..
hallelujah Noel be it heaven or hell
the christmas we get we deserve.
A short movie from a while ago about the limbo like state that sometimes Christmas can put you in. Based around the work of David Lynch, London at Christmas time feels merry and bright, but underneath that festive cheer lies the dark heart of solitude, by-gone memories and sadness. In this Christmas, Santas Grotto is a limbo world, where the dead are sentenced to walk around the shops for eternity trying to find the perfect gift for mum.