A poem on banning Christmas presents

My blog earlier this week posited that it’s time to radically rein(deer) back on Christmas gifts (see Is it time to ban Christmas presents?), as it’s become a retail festival. It seems to have struck a cord with many, angered a few and caused one man to compose a poem (see below).

Certainly there’s been a rash of press calls about it on top of doing my regular slots on GMTV and Radio 2 on it today. That caused a lively debate – where I may’ve got a touch overly passionate.

While many calls and emails were favourable, one irate caller from Cirencester told me how this attitude of stopping people shopping would hurt her small retail business – perhaps next time I talk about debt reduction, credit card companies will call saying, “you’re outrageous, what about our profits?!”

Of course, as is necessary in these things I was accused of being a Scrooge – luckily that’s not so bad for a Money Saving Expert so it’s not too big a deal. However I thought you’d like this e-mail I was sent from Bob Smith…

“ Hi,

Could not agree more with your comments on Radio 2 today.

Since I retired I have started writing poetry. Nothing in the realms of Wordsworth or Betjeman I’m afraid but I thought you might enjoy my latest effort based on your comments.


Bob Smith”


Here comes the Retail Festival
Couched in glossy Christmas cheer
Spend spend spend the shops implore
Their merchandising moves up a gear

Must we overspend at Christmas
On presents that leave us skint
Many people are left in debt
So that shops can make a mint

Christmas time itself I fear
Has lost it’s friendly glow
People vying to see who can
Have the priciest presents on show

A small present to family members
There is no harm in this
But keeping up with the Joneses
Is some folks idea of bliss

Hundreds of pounds they are spent
On presents for all you know
Kids clamouring for the latest
Toy or game that is on show

Hotels and restaurants filled to the brim
Yet their prices are over the top
When shall all this madness end
And prices shall start to drop

Family Christmas’s used to be
A time to visit and chat
Yet to sit around the table
Nowadays is classed old hat

The festivities now I fear
Has nothing to do with Dec 25th
It’s all to do with materialism
Spending money on expensive gifts

In case you think I’m a scrooge
Take time to stop and think
What’s the purpose of all this spending
Other than bringing you to debt’s brink

It’s time for a revolution
A time to say enough’s enough
Resist the all empowering persuasion
Put the retailers in a huff

Celebrate Christmas? Of course we should
Yet let us break the trend
Rather than buy a material gift
Present yourself just as a friend

©Bob Smith 13/11/2009

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