I was involved in a conversation yesterday with some colleagues about the way that the celebration of Christmas has changed through the years. Some were of the opinion that consumerism has taken over from any sense of real engagement with community and the faith based values that underpin the season.
My opinion is different. I think consumerism has always been a significant part of Christmas, in my life time. One of the main changes that I have noticed is linked to the fact that there are many who do not celebrate Christmas in the multicultural London of the current times.
Those who opt out from observing the festive season include some Christian sects such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. In recent years, I have strolled in my neighbourhood and found many corner shops and pubs open. This is part of Yuletide’s slow and subtle evolution.
Shopping areas used to bustle with activity in the festive season, but I discovered in another conversation recently that some folks prefer to do their shopping online, so this has removed yet another aspect of the build up to the big event.
Conversely, I have probably been involved in more Christmas events as a performer this year than ever before. The tradition is not in any danger of extinction. It is simply morphing into new shapes and forms.