Spare us the Humbug

Festive Cliché Bingo with Centigrade

Yes, it’s the festive season. Yes, it’s commercial. Don’t like it? Try this.
Yuletide, like summer weather, cheery policemen and the sight of little children reading books, is one of the many things that Used To Be Better In the Old Days. Nostalgists wax lyrical about simpler times when kids would be happy with an orange and a lump of coal in their stockings and the whole neighbourhood would gather to sing carols around the village green.

But you know something? The festive season, Yule, Christmas or whatever you call it, is still a pretty fine time of year. And at Centigrade we’re not averse to the occasional celebration, so we’ve devised a little seasonal game of Festive Cliché Bingo you can play whenever all the old platitudes come tumbling out. Just help yourself to a swig or bite of your favourite  holiday cheer whenever you hear these time-worn complaints:

“The festive season starts earlier every year.” Award yourself a glass of mulled wine every time you hear this one. Granted, shop windows decked with snowflakes can look a little odd at a time when people are still strolling around in t-shirts, but there’s no obligation to buy stuff then and it’s no weirder than the spring/summer fashion collections coming out when it’s minus 10C and the pavements are knee deep in slush. That’s retailing – if it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it.

“We’ve lost the meaning of Christmas.” Treat yourself to a mince pie or chocolate truffle every time you hear this one. It’s true that, like the Easter Bunny, Santa and his sack of presents do tend to obscure the simple religious tale story of the Nativity. But there’s no evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was born on December 25th, and quite a lot of evidence that there were hearty pagan Winter Solstice celebrations long before Christianity came along. Best guess is that the early Christians had no wish to be killjoys and simply adopted an existing festival. And who can blame them?

“It’s for the kids, isn’t it?” We love this one. Make it a glass of bubbly for this cliché. Parents fondly imagine they’re really doing the whole festive thing for the benefit of little Oliver or Amelia, while treating themselves to a month-long blowout of champagne, chocolate, indulgent food and presents from the most expensive stores in town. The holidays are for the kids? Tell that to Tiffany.

“It’s just repeats and reruns on TV.” Fill your glass, that’s worth another swig. Yes, it’s just repeats of some of the greatest feel-good movies ever made. Groundhog Day, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, How the Grinch Stole Christmas… you just can’t resist them and why should you? They’re masterpieces. Nobody ever goes to the Louvre and complains they’ve seen the Mona Lisa before. And if you can watch The Muppet Christmas Carol without a soppy grin on your face from beginning to end, you really are a Scrooge.

“I’ll be glad when the whole thing is over.” Double helpings of whatever you fancy when you hear this one. You’ll be glad when it’s over? Sure you will.  Can’t wait to get back to those 2018 cashflow forecasts? Uh-huh. Don’t let us stop you. At Centigrade, we’re in the ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ camp.

Centigrade strongly recommends you don’t play Festive Cliché Bingo and drive…but apart from that, please enjoy your festive season however you want to with the compliments of us all.