But Why Did They Do That? Future Festive Fun
There’s nothing quite like the arrival of a new family member, born during the last Festive Season, to focus the mind on what the future will be for them?
I’m not about to launch into a Brexit-US-influenced rant about democracy, voting and the current position of neo-liberal progressive thinking. Let’s do that in February (or not).
No, far more pre-occupying is a bi-cameral question. Not only, principally, how the end-of-year season will evolve, but how will the early-21st Century celebrations now appear, to our future selves?
Forget Star Wars/Trek/Gate genre.. I doubt we shall be in baco-foil or lycra jump-suits, living in a world where money no longer exists. Interesting observation - in the ideal future society, where everyone hugs each other all day and laughs, why the need for both genders to wear heavy make-up - a bit yesterday, n’est pas? But how will they understand our consumer-driven eating-fest. Will they access images and data on the multi-faith values which gave it some under-pinning? Will they research the principle of Saturnalia - the Roman celebration of the Winter Soltice, the passing of the shortest day and onwards to Spring and light? I do hope so. Otherwise, I’ll worry that we, now in the 21st Century, will look superficial, fatuous and hedonistic.
Let me be more circumspect. I am fortunate to know many individuals who spend the Festive period helping and supporting disadvantaged groups. Spurning the traditional round-the-table gorge-a-thon, they, instead, annually, spend their Festive holidays working in food banks, soup kitchens, and safe houses. I hope this, too, is recorded for future research, otherwise the annual shopping frenzy will label us as de-evolving Yahoos, seemingly devoid of anything other than self-obsession, slavish devotees to the values of marketing.
So, that’s sufficient for the past..what of the future?..How will December 25th be celebrated in 2030?...will drones, dressed as nuns, charm us with songs from the show? To explain, for non-British readers, it is the law, in Britain, that you watch The Sound of Music film, at some point over the Festive period. You are required to complete a document and send it to the local Prefecture, to confirm this. Perhaps children will, in a reversal of contemporary behaviour, spend the day in a shed (or equivalent), learning, or improving a useful and character-building skill for their future prospects, for example, whittling, knitting, riding a uni-cycle and/or learning to whistle. None of these skills, prima facie, would be appropriate inclusions on a CV (sadly), but all add to team-working, should the team find itself in an emergency situation, where carving a natty object, warm clothing, creative transport and non-verbal communication become life-savers. To think laterally, perhaps rather than ‘doing lots’, the future Festive phase becomes a more silent, reflective time. If communication systems become further concentrated, a plug could be pulled, on 24th December, and folk would have to gather around a non-digital piano, or read dead-wood books, and clean teeth using hands and arms to power the toothbrush - who needs multi-media, when you have such options?
I expect, however, some traditions will sustain. That odd comedy sketch, featuring Freddy Frinton, which is cult viewing in Germany (?), the Queen’s Speech (maybe in Esperanto, or what-ever the future. Global language may be), shouting at children, teasing grandparents and the dog being sick. So, to my first grand-child...may your future Festive holidays be...well….amusing..if nothing else, your wimple is in the post.