It is that time again. You can see it in their eyes. The quickening in their walks to the super-market. An edginess in the voice. ‘Father Christmas is coming to town’. More and more shopping malls are employing experienced female ‘father’ Christmases. With all the sexual abuse of children coming to the fore, the last bastion of male domination has been abandoned. It is frightening is it not? Not a religion or faith has been spared. The clergy are now queuing up at courts and even distant Cardinal’s finest damask mitres are starting to wobble. In any case, children are deemed to be safer on mother Christmas’ knees than on the old bony but jolly male version. Soon, prams and mother will line up to get the obligatory photo taken. The transition to the female Father Christmas has been seamless. No worries at all. Father Christmas is sulking and his reindeer off their moss.
On a 7.30 am ABC rapport, a warning was issued that even though for most this pre-Christmas period it is a happy time. Not for all. Families get together, enjoy a nice dinner. The giving of presents. The Christmas tree taken out of the box, branches all screwed together, all electrically lit up inside a cosy lounge. The outside of garages, eaves, doorways and even gutters also all alight with festive multi coloured twinkling lights. The shops are full of buckets and buckets of those lights and it is a competition like nothing else. Neighbours trying to out-do this latest race to have the most intricate lit up exterior. The MacMansions are of course unbeatable when it comes to large areas being able to get lit up. Some of those now look as if driving past an air-port or Las Vegas.
The warning on the program touched upon that charities were stretched to the limit. That family violence was already picking up and that the time of partner and wife abuse was always at its worst during the period leading up to Christmas. Someone commented on another program that in the hours at the end of the last shopping day on Christmas eve, financial transactions are peaking at 250.000 per SECOND. There has to be a connection between that and outbursts of violence. Where is the money coming from?
Are we all somehow joined to cash registers? Has capitalism managed to convince us that happiness is only available at Westfield shopping Cathedrals. I remember a pair of hand knitted grey socks hanging from the chimney back then and perhaps a toy or two. A meccano set. Dad’s rare cooking skills came out in making fondant sweets that he made from molten sugar and some almond essence poured into small metal forms. The Christmas tree was real and so were the candles and dad’s fondants hanging from the pungent smelling spruce-tree. The streets sounds were muffled by snow and all was real. No electronic nervous sounds. Christmas had a smell and it was so real. No plastic or racing twitching lights, or drunken brawls . No garbage cans afterwards spilling over with un-eaten food, rotting hams or pizzas eaten out of a box. The lonely prawns abandoned on the nature strip.
It was so peaceful then and it was real.