Swedish Girl In London

London Life: Bright Lights, Big City. Now what's on TV?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Oh, Those Jingle Bells In My Head

"It must be Christmas," Chocolate Girl writes from Spain, "because dad has put the manger out on the balcony again."

Apparently the Holy Family becomes bigger every year. This time, Chocolate Dad has invested in a life-size, bearded Joseph, a particularly snipey-looking Holy Virgin and a scary Baby Jesus, complete with inexplicable, blonde mullet hairdo.

"I won't sleep soundly until New Year," Chocolate girl e-mail grumbles.

And it must be Christmas in London too, because all of Regent Street has been turned into a demented, dizzying disco of flourescent lighting - just like in old Bethlehem - and is probably visible from the moon.

You know those annoying people who download Jingle Bells as their ring-tone? Who hush people angrily if they talk while the M&S Christmas ad is on telly? Who sink into reverie in front of the gilded window display at Liberty's? Those odd, possibly hypnotised people who wrap the whole house up in tinsel and poke your eye out as they lug their Christmas tree home on the bus?

"Christ," you think (and not in a let's-remember-the-reason-for-Christmas way), "who are those people?"

Well, they're me, actually. I am that person. I love Christmas and am already gearing up for a real marathon of schmaltz and retail loving. After all, rampant consumerism and cheap sentimentality is my gig most of the year, and I see no reason to make an exception for December.

Don't blame me. It's those jingle bells in my head.

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