I don`t mean family gatherings, a Christmas tree in the living room or stockings on the fireplace. You won`t read anything about packing presents and leaving milk and cookies for Santa in here too. All those are great and are probably very close to most people’s idea of the winter holidays, but right now I have something completely different in mind. Let`s call this “the short circuit list”- 5 things that reprogram our brains and set them in ho-ho-ho mode in a matter of seconds.
Oh yes, not many things compare to money in regards to their ability to boost your mood and lift your spirit. It doesn`t matter if they`re spent on presents, overdue bills or go to the dream vacation fund, extra cash is never a bad thing. It`s pretty much an automatic reaction- just give someone money and watch them smile. Why? Because for most of us this means we get to have something we want. Or, if you happen to be an animated duck at a respectable age and trouble causing nephews- you get to exchange it for pennies and add them to your improvised swimming pool.
Christmas and after-Christmas sales
We love sales. Unconditionally. We love sales! Combine them with the warm fuzzy feeling that bonus I mentioned above gave you and you`ve got a winner- all the clothes, jewelry and electronics out there have a big “…% OFF”-sign attached to them and the money in your pockets is more than usual. There`s nothing like a jolly shop raid. M
Commercial Christmas decorations
You might argue that Christmas is a family holiday and the word “commercial” doesn`t even belong in the same sentence with it, but just do me a favor and bear with me here. Think of the beautifully arranged Santa Claus hut in the mall with all the kids lining up to tell the good old guy their wishes. Maybe you did it too when you were little. How about the decorated trees downtown? All the lights and garlands on the streets? There are probably some reindeer figures as well. In any case, they can be held accountable for tons of family photos and even more smiles. Even if you`re somewhat of a Grinch, you still can`t close your eyes to the charm of it.
Christmas-themed movies and ads
Does the line “I`m the ghost of Christmas past” ring a bell? How many versions of this movie can you think of? Or comedies about decorations wars between neighbors and kids left without parental control? And how about ads with polar bears enjoying a cold beverage? Maybe a cute couple having a cup of coffee by the fireplace? Quite a few, I`m willing to bet. Even insanely popular action heroes have had their climbing down the chimney scenes. One thing all these have in common- we`ve seen them millions of times and yet, the minute they show up on TV we start craving homemade apple pie and pumpkin cake.
You can love it, you can hate it, but there`s no denying it- this song gets stuck in your head and it just won`t leave you alone. That`s probably how people felt back in the days when “Jingle bells” and “Figgy pudding” were the new holiday smash hits.
Those are my shortlisted favorites amongst the things I can`t imagine Christmas without. I`m sure you have one or two yourself.
Apart from ripping all illusions out of people`s favorite time of year, Keith Kirkham writes for PHS Greenleaf, a company that offers commercial Christmas tree hire services, Christmas decorations and commercial Christmas lights that will make the holiday experience even more special.