Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Christmas is coming ...

I remember September 1st 1980. That was the first day I began work as assistant manager at Martin the Newsagent, Congleton, Cheshire. And my first job? to arrange the display of Christmas toys, cards and decorations. I wasn't very good at display then, and I hadn't improved much when I started teaching on 1st September 1995.

I was reminded of that day 28 years ago today when Hamley's, the toy shop in Regent Street, London, gave their Christmas preview.

Well - it is July.

Apparently the top toy of the year is going to be a dancing telly tubby. 'Retro' toys are also likely to be popular (queue up now for your Rubik's cube and Monopoly) and of course a smattering of electronic games and toys.

And the Dalek. Oh yes, save a dalek for me.

Back in 1980, I seem to remember, there was a small hand-held car game which involved racing cars on a simple screen. Now we would think of it as very basic, then it was like gold-dust. We kept one in the back of the shop (for break times, and visiting reps) and two others were in the shop itself. We never sold the two in the shop. But after a couple of days they were nowhere to be seen.

Well all this could be a good opportunity for a very pious complaint about greed, distortion of the true meaning of Christmas, greed breeding greed and so on and so on. Such a homily is so obvious it can write itself. And I think of it mainly as a sort of self-righteous scroogery. At least Ebenezer was genuinely misanthropic.

No, let's have fun. But can we enjoy the summer first?

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