Christmas Crackers

9 Dec

What is it about Christmas that makes people go positively, absolutely and utterly, stark-raving bonkers? It seems like a stereotypical thing to have a moan about around the first week of Christmas but it is true and, therefore, in my mind it is completely justified.

One of the things that I like about living in Switzerland is that there is no 24-hour trading. ball-65825__340A lot of expats that I know think that I am a bit crazy for being of this opinion. No 24-hour trading means no shops open after 21h, as a general rule, and no shops are open on Sundays. Except for Christmas.

In the four Sundays before Christmas the shops are open for a full days trading and the way people act you would think that it was the last shopping opportunity before 2020 arrives. It’s hysteria. In the main streets, people don’t look where they are going or dilly-dally when you are trying to get somewhere quickly. Children are either crying because they are cold and tired or they are wired up to the eyeballs after having far too much sugary treats. You get slapped around the face by someone’s shopping bag as they throw the thing over their shoulder with complete disregard for any other human beings existence, so don’t be surprised when the uttering of an embarrassed “sorry” is not forthcoming.

People buy far too much than they (or their loved ones) want or need. But it’s Christmas, isn’t it? Guilt or cunning marketing, or a disastrous combination of both, infiltrate the average shopper’s brain and hey-pesto! The retailers end up with record sales growth and we just feel overindulgded.

There is some discussion over where 24-hour trading will come to Switzerland in the near future. I sincerely hope it doesn’t. If there is any one not convinced, I suggest you take a walk down Banhofstrasse on a weekday evening or on the weekend and then see what you think!

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