The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Festive Season.

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It won’t be long now before the festive season will be upon us, even though it started in November. One question I would like to ask, is this festival about the birthday of a child who would change the world, or is all about encouraging people to spend,spend spend?

Last year, one of the major supermarkets gave an interview saying that it should be allowed to open on Christmas Day stating that this would be of benefit to the whole community, as many elderly people lived alone and they would be able to visit the store and find warmth and friendship and even have something to eat instead of sitting all alone. As I read this it brought tears to my eyes, not of sadness, but tears of laughter as I had a mental picture of people with Zimmer frames and electric scooters spending
Christmas Day going up and down the aisles whilst the store speakers played Christmas music to keep them amused. No mention was made of the staff who would have to give up their family Christmas because they were working.

Recently, a supermarket chain announced a drop in sales, but an increase in profits, I'm not an accountant, but to me, the only way you can increase profits with a drop in sales is by increasing your prices. As you will have noticed, I have a love hate relationship with supermarkets.

Whilst on the subject of prices, on a recent visit to my local supermarket I was pushing my trolley down the aisle selling ready meals clearly marked at £2.50 each, beneath which was a large red sign stating, “Special offer, two for £6.” I found an assistant and pointing to the sign said, “When I went to school, £2.50 times two equalled £5 not £6 and I’d like the sign removed. She told me that a manager would have to authorise its removal and then asked, “How many meals do you want?” to which I replied, “None at all” “Then why are you complaining?” she asked. “Because you’re ripping your customers off and if that sign is still there when I have finished my shopping I will be speaking to the manager myself,” it wasn't there when I checked again later. One of my wife’s carers said that I was becoming like Victor Meldrew from the TV series “One foot in the grave” and do you know, I think she is quite right! But I must admit it’s fun.

Christmas, is a time of “good will to all men,” as long as you remember that it is also the time when you will need to buy a new TV, washing machine, freezer, computer, furniture and anything else that the advertising media can convince you that you will need in order to have a happy Christmas. The really sad thing at the moment is that food banks are now springing up all across the city to help needy families at a time when we are living in a reasonably affluent society.

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete with others, then everybody will learn to respect you.”

Published Sat 6th Dec 2014 15:29:13

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