We were complaining today at work about the influx of nauseous American habits, such as Trick or Treat and Secret Santa. Secret Santa particularly miffs me as a couple of years ago I did try and get into the Xmas spirit and bought (anonymously) a present for a colleague. I went to a lot of trouble to hunt around for something within the price range that suited his personality and that he would enjoy, and, as far as that goes, it was fine. He loved the present. However, the down side was that I had to publicly open a gift that someone anonymous had bought for me, and one would expect, wouldn’t one, that everyone should put a bit of thought and originality into the gift.
It was a pair of stripey socks, and I must admit that for a few seconds I was a little stunned, sensing that there must be some deeper significance to these woollen horrors.
Alas no. That was it. Socks. I can only presume that someone had some surreal post-modern idea that the iconic image of bad Xmas presents would somehow amuse me. I did, to my credit, smile patronisingly and slid the socks into my desk drawer, from whence, a little later, they slid out and straight into a waste-paper basket.
‘We might celebrate Thanksgiving here soon,’ my boss said, apropos of this custom of adopting the stupidest ideas America has to offer.
On the other hand, that might not be a bad idea. Should, for instance, Thatcher die in mid-November, it would give us all a chance to give thanks each and every year for her departure from this world.
I imagine it does not have to necessarily be November. It would be nice to have a celebration in the parts of the year where we are bereft of public holidays.