Christmas: Buy it now!

HOW depressing. When I arrived at Euston this morning to catch the Glasgow train, I was pleased to see a Christmas tree on the concourse. Ronnie and Reggie were duly impressed (“Is it Christmas tomorrow?” asked the ever-optimistic Ronnie).

img_0118But then I saw the star on the top of the tree. Well, I say “star” – I mean advertising logo. In this case it proclaimed the legend “eBay”.

I understand that we must accept a degree of commercialisation of Christmas, but there was something uniquely dispiriting about this spectacle. What next? A nativity scene sponsored by Pampers?

UPDATE at 4.05 pm: When we arrived at Glasgow Central I noticed there’s an “eBay tree” there as well. Oh, what’s the point! All together now:

“We’ll sell you a Merry Christmas
We’ll sell you a Merry Christmas
We’ll sell you a Merry Christmas
And a PayPal account.”


Filed under Family life, Society

24 responses to “Christmas: Buy it now!

  1. eBay glum – you’re a gloomy old soul!

    When the finger points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger…

  2. Johnny Norfolk

    Dont worry Tom.
    The way things are going you will see a lot less of this as more and more firms go bust.
    When we last had a Labour government, we got used to doing with out, so it will be less difficult to those of us that have been here before, also Heath was no better he was not able to do what had to be done after Labour.
    So never forget that is why Lady Thatcher ( God Bless Her)came to power, in the wake of Labour doing what you are about to do again.
    So I predict the Cameron will come to power and if he does not shape up He and his team will be replaced by the party.

    So the people will see the light at the end of the tunnel one way or the other, but not of course with Labour. You see you cannot in the long run change events or buck the market, you just never learn.

  3. Johnny – I know I shouldn’t encourage you, but I have to ask: are you, in fact, even capable of submitting a comment on any subject other than your hatred of the Labour Party? There seems to be no relation at all between the subject of the posts I write and your bizarre rants in response.

  4. richard

    It’s a bit trite to say that Labour governments always cripple the economy and that Conservative governments get stuck fixing it but there do seem to be a lot of similarities between 1979 and 2008.

    All we need now is dole queues stretching out of the doors, massive public sector strikes and a major collapse in the pound…

  5. Maybe we can start playing a new game? In how many steps can you twist a Doctor-related post into an anti-Labour rant?

  6. madasafish

    I can recommend a Scrooge like attitude to Christams until the week before.
    It prevents me from becoming as cynical as you are Tom.

    I was going to say ” prevents me from being a cynical old git” but realsied that I am ,alas, older than you by a couple of decades.

    I digress.
    In all seriousness, I shut off Christmas mentally and avoid all festivities ~##until around 18th December. Thus Christams when it comes is fresh in my mind.

    (Mind you I do not buy or schedule the presents of cards in our house!)

    ## except Christams cake and mince pies which I love. And turkey and sprouts and gravy and Christmas puddings and …..

  7. Mad – I protest! If I were as cynical as you suggest I wouldn’t object to private companies “sponsoring” Christmas.

  8. I happen to agree with you on this one, Tom.

    And I’m glad you didn’t get arrested under the Terrorism Act for taking photos in a sensitive area – Britain.

  9. Oh, give it a rest, Stewart.

  10. Johnny Norfolk

    Tom. You have missed my point.

    You were concerned and dissapointed by the Advert on a Christmas tree.
    I was explaining that you will probablly see less of it as the economy goes down further and firms will be cutting back on things like this.
    Of course I went on to explain the reason for this. Its not a rant but an explanation that Labour has failed to understand.
    Its quite simple. You do not clear your debts by taking on more debts.
    Labour just do not understand the basics of economics.

  11. So does that mean you like the idea of having an eBay star at the top of a Christmas tree or what?

  12. John

    Personally I don’t think you can beat a good ol’ fairy at Christmas 🙂

  13. Tom, a quick search brought up these examples (there are masses) and also evidence from Parliament last month…

    Politics student arrested and locked up under anti-terrorism laws for photographing London landmarks.

    Stopped and searched under anti-terrorism laws for photographing Houses of Parliament.

    Photographer detained under the Terrorism Act for taking photographs of decaying tracks, fences and walls at an old port and train station for an exhibition he was planning. He was taken away by three police officers – and his granny was left stuck in the waiting room.

    Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence – Joint Committee on Human Rights; Policing and Protest; 21/10/08…

    "Q99 …Mr [Jeremy] Dear [General Secretary, National Union of Journalists]: What is increasingly becoming the norm is it is the kind of low-level intensity of it, the hand over the lens, the pushing you away, the moving you away so you cannot take a photograph of what is going on. A lot of these are things that individual photographers have sent into me and they literally say it is an almost weekly occurrence now when I am out photographing on the street.

    It is also the restrictions put on what you can and cannot photograph. I noted some down while I was sat outside: the London Eye – someone has been arrested for photographing the London Eye – if we arrested everybody who photographed the London Eye we would have to build an awful lot more prisons – traffic police, Brighton railway station, a traffic accident, an incident on Tyne Bridge and the switching-on of the Christmas lights in Ipswich.

    It has become so arbitrary and so commonplace now that actually these guidelines that we all agreed to – and we sat down for ages with the police to negotiate them – are useless because the police on the street do not know anything about them.

  14. wrinkled weasel

    To get back to the point (even Einstein “everything is relative” might fail to make a link between This Despicable Labour Government and ebay sponsoring a Christmas tree) I think it behoves Christians to step back and think about how they might celebrate Christmas in their homes, with special reference to old fashioned ideas like the Nativity.

  15. John


    A very valid point, but it has been established long ago that Tom is a very strong supporter of the Anti-Terror legislation, despite the fact it’s mostly/entirelly used against everyday people rather than terrorists.

    Tom has made his views clear on this, and he won’t be swayed 😦

  16. Yeah, but what do you think about that eBay star on the Christmas tree, eh? Focus, people – focus!

  17. Johnny Norfolk

    No Tom I do not. I would not have wanted my childern to see an e bay Christmas tree like that.
    But I am afraid it has become this way. We try and keep the traditionl family Christmas. Mrs N and I thought we would be on our ow this Christmas, but the tribe are all comming, so they know there will be no television for both days

  18. Rapunzel

    Tom, I think it’s shocking. They didn’t even have Ebay when Jesus was born, although by all accounts there was a star. I hope Ronnie or Reggie don’t draw an Ebay star on any of their Christmas pictures. So confusing for the little ones. Just imagine the discussions in homes and classrooms all over the country. Can you buy gold, frankincense or myrrh on Ebay? Probably.

    It’s bound to be the Labour Party’s fault. Everything else seems to be, including John Sergeant’s exit from Strictly. Oops, sorry! Shouldn’t have mentioned the Labour Party on this post. But you’d think it was obligatory, reading these comments! Do you suppose there’s anything you could blog about without receiving all this? Ice-cream? Daisy chains? Your favourite jam? Football versus rugby? Why are we here?

  19. wrinkled weasel

    To focus then, even pagans might be a bit pissed off.

    To be serious for a minute, we are entering a decadent phase of evolution.

    I hear that disgraced TV personality, Jonathan Ross is being replaced as MC of the British Comedy awards by, wait for it, disgraced British TV presenter, Angus Deayton.

    A disregard for democracy is not unique to This Despicable Labour Government. The BBC is in meltdown because it did not recognise the will of the people, who want John Sargeant to be head twinkletoes.

    Well, if Gordon can ignore the wishes of the people to hold a referendum on the EU treaty, or simply not to have an election to give him a personal mandate, what do you expect?

    The people get the society they deserve, and most of the people in the uk are ignorant, thick and venal. I think ebay have accurately reflected the zeitgeist.

  20. Actually an eBay logo is entirely fitting for a Christmas tree.

    After all, many of the things that are under the tree on Christmas Eve will probably end up on eBay by Boxing Day. 😉

  21. madasafish

    I buy many of my Christmas presents on ebay. They are purchased post 26th Decmber and Christmas chez madasafish starts on 1st January.

    But then I was raised in Aberdeenshire… which says it all.
    All the softies in England go on about Yorkshire meanness. Yorkshire people are spendthrifts.

    Fortunately my wallet is glued together with long lasting superglue.

  22. @ John

    Thanks. I was one of many offering young Tom conclusive proof that the state is becoming too powerful.

    It depends how you look at the evidence, for example, I have just written about the £100m to be spent on travellers.

    I look at it this way, because the Government has a history of behaving very badly indeed.

  23. Jay

    An inspired piece of marketing by Ebay and an accurate reflection of the meaning of Christmas (are we still allowed to use that word, hasn’t it been banned?) for many in our society today: tacky and commercial.

    When the trees come down whichever company owns stations these days will replant them to trumpet its green credentials. The stars will appear on Ebay’s January sales listing as limited editions.

  24. “… an accurate reflection of the meaning of Christmas (are we still allowed to use that word, hasn’t it been banned?)”

    On this site, you’re only allowed to use “Christmas”.

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