Earlier this Christmas, there were warnings of short supply of toys, electronics and fizzy drinks.
With the onset of the festive season, there may be a shortage of blankets at our retailers. Which, if you’ve been to a supermarket recently, you could be forgiven for thinking it already has.
Sir Keir Starmer entered the supply chain row and called on Boris Johnson to take ’emergency action’ to address the shortage of lorry drivers, which he said was threatening to ‘ruin Christmas’.
After all, what would Christmas be like without a dozen mild sub-standard cocktail sausages wrapped in some cheap fatty bacon and treated with preservatives that would stop molding them into their oversized plastic trays?
Miss Piggy didn’t need pigs-in-blanket: Christmas is about the generosity of spirit—as exemplified in the Muppet Christmas Carol—not the generosity of spending, though with good intention.
If such a possibility is too much to consider, perhaps it’s time to rethink the festive dining strategy.
Go and buy some good quality chipotles and put them in the freezer. Do the same with some good quality smoked streaky bacon.
Take them out of the freezer the day before Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, wrap the sausage in bacon and put it back in the fridge. On Christmas morning, grill them so the bacon is crisp.
That’s how the fear of Christmas goes away without such an integral item, as well as eating something resembling real food. Now the only concern is the bacon and sausage panic in October.
I’m not sure everyone in the UK is as concerned about the prospect of a shortage this Christmas as our media outlets suggest. In fact, for some it will be a relief.
What better way for this year’s toy to resist the noise that this knowledge isn’t available.
‘But why dad?’
‘Because many people voted to kick out all the workers who were willing to do the work the British people are not doing. Merry Christmas!’
This year’s ‘must-have toy’ is next year’s ‘plastic tat in a box in the spare room’ anyway, so it may also be time to rethink our festive gift strategy.
I’m not saying we should all kill toy soldiers with wooden blocks and wear hand-held floral Pinafor dresses.
But good present-shopping is almost a skill that requires a little bit of work, thought, imagination, that sort of thing—not that I’m particularly blessed with, but I try.
In fact, it can only be hoped that this winter’s supply chain crisis will prompt us to completely rethink our consumption strategy.
Are pigs-in-blankets really an integral part of Christmas?
After all, is this really the message that we should instill in young children from the very beginning of their consciousness? That it has to be a lot of things, the more stuff the better?
That expensive gift is always more desirable than less-expensive gifts, that there are so many things we simply can’t do without? Is it good to have excess and spoilage?
Any time of year, which I think most people would agree, even setting aside its religious essence for a moment, should be about some of humanity’s more advanced values – harmony, fellowship. And so on.
After all, how does it feel to the poorest families in the country, this annual splurge? children who receive far less than their more privileged classmates; Parents who feel bad because they can’t give their families the kind of festive shock they see elsewhere.
There is nothing Christian about a large materialistic party that degrades the most rigid members of society.
You can guarantee there won’t be anything missing from stores this winter that people really need. The options may be few – but that’s probably a good thing for all of us.