Further, science tells us that if we really, really want to be happy, helping another, whether with friendship, a warm coat, a shelter, a meal, or a vaccine can provide us with the greatest surge of happiness of all. So once the Yule log has turned ash, volunteer, donate to a good cause, or go outside and spread seeds to the birds...
All this busy activity distracts us from the fact that even though Christmas is meant to be a joyful affair, it also happens to fall at a tricky time of year (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). A time of darkness and decay. A time of introspection and reflection - activities that make for potentially unsettling pastimes.
Much as I relish the creativity of many of their efforts, I feel that this trend tells a worrying story both about the faltering attempts of business to redefine its place in the world and about our own need to grasp at almost anything to create meaning in our lives. In my book, we could do with rather more powerful stories at Christmas time. Any ideas?
I am fully aware that the title of this article is likely to incite rage across the nation. How can I possibly be mentioning Christmas when we are barely in November? What kind of fairy light loving, sugared almond addict must I be to bring up my second least favourite C-word so early on in the year? I mean, the clocks have only just gone back for Pete's sake!
It's finally over but for me, but the supermarkets are about to start dressing the shelves for Christmas 2014. How is Christmas already over for me? Every July & August there are a flurry of Christmas events which I end up hauling myself around to in the hottest weather of the year trying to feel Christmassy...
Being in a wheelchair means I'm lower down and people tend not to see me. Therefore it's a matter of waiting ages for people to move, or me turning into the Terminator. Whilst most shops are more accessible on entry, it's like a Monaco race track inside. I'm breathing in through every clothes stand, hoping it avoids a wheel from knocking naked mannequins on my head.
Every day of every month we are hyper focused on what's new -- from food to travel; cars to celebrities; technology and entertainment; to work and life trends...there is an obsessive, irresistible pull towards the future. We want to be immediately better, smarter, savvier by half past the New Year's ball drop.