tba has decided to offer you a clear insight into that swiftly impending time of the year we call Christmas. It is almost upon us, so imagine the following setting: You wander around Hamburg,you see many people enter shops, you do that as well, in order to purchase the perfect Christmas present for a special person. We don’t know who that might be. This special person might be a child, a loved one or a parent. At this point it doesn’t matter. People still storm the nicely decorated stores which give you a feeling of happiness and warmth. The delight at how lovely it all looks, the whispers about the shop assistant, who’s more than pleased to see you with a satisfied look on your face when you leave the store after buying the long sought item. All these moments enter your mind and you know it. It’s Christmas time again.
You continue to walk down the road. Now you have a completely different destination and you pass the market place, let’s say it’s the Rathausmarkt in Hamburg. You see the lights, the green fir trees, the cutely assembled huts. They remind you of the “Winter Wonderland” by Bing Crosby. And then you realise that you also smell this “wonderland”. The sweets, the food, the trees, all sorts of spices and scents, covered by the silently falling snow, even the scent of hot chocolate and Glühwein enter your nose. Once again the feeling of joy overcomes you.
It’s Christmas time again. Finally. You’ve waited an entire year for this moment. You’ve waited one year to walk around the city, either alone or with friends, in order to enjoy this very special time of the year.
But It is about time we come back to reality. Because it’s not only you and all the other people who enter this Christmas-madness. No, dear readers, the stores are entangled in this as well. And it’s not just about the ornamentation. Because the human being is a consumption-driven creature, stores have decided to play on this consumption addiction. They have done this by dramatically extending Christmas.
This is the point we want to make. You’ve actually had it up to your eyeballs with this entire Christmas-theatre by now, because since September you have been exposed to “chocolate Santa Clauses”, “Dominosteine”, “Spekulatius”, “Lebkuchenplätzchen,-ringe und -taler”, “Christmas-Goldbären”, “Zimtsterne”, “Santa Clause-chocolate-lolly-pops”…We could go on with this for pages. Anyway, because stores, and mainly the store managers, seek opportunities to have a greater transaction volume than the year before, the poor consumer is confronted with a delightful event such as Christmas well before its actual date. This leads to the over-consumption of Christmas sweets.
If one thinks back to the imaginative story, then we soon realise that we cannot enjoy Christmas anymore. Not really at least. Firstly, because we simply can’t look at those goods anymore. People are bombarded with Christmas goods long before they’re supposed to. What’s the point in offering these goods in summer? Don’t those people think about over-consumption? People are just going to be spoiled and lose their appetites! We want to enjoy Christmas and be happy when it’s Christmas time again, not groaning when we see it coming…in February!?