Monday, December 07, 2009

Only 54 weeks until Christmas!

It was a struggle to get up this morning, and it was with rubbery legs that I walked to the tram stop. Damn that stupid run. Next weekend I'll take the bike out instead (and after a year and a half of not cycling, I expect I'll really benefit from having fresh legs on my 40k jaunt around Lantau).

It's wet and cold today in Hong Kong. Rain keeps threatening to fall, but doesn't come through with the goods. November and December can be very pleasant in Hong Kong; on a sunny day the stifling humidity of summer isn't there, just the warm sun and the delightful taste of diesel fumes. But when it's damp and gray like this, it's miserable as sin.

Since nobody believes in heating, they try to make up for it by using more air conditioning. In Starbucks this morning I was shivering with the cold, only partly alleviating it with a latte. Yesterday, I learned (here) that Starbucks start planning for Christmas 72 weeks in advance. 72 weeks? That means that for the last 18 weeks, some poor sod has already been worrying about whether they have enough egg nog-flavoured syrup for 2010. What kind of life is that?

It's not as if the coming of Christmas is any relief - anyone else in the retail trade could probably sigh and think "well, relax for a bit, then maybe think about Easter. What a lot of socks I've received this year."* Meanwhile, on December 25th, that unlucky guy or girl at Starbucks tasked with cutting out all the Christmas tree shaped biscuits can only be swearing to themselves, terrified that they're already twenty weeks behind schedule.

I wonder if the temptation gets too much, and they attempt to recycle some of this year's Christmas themes into next year. Surely not, one hopes. It would take away from the message and tradition of Christmas if the same thing happened every year, rather than everything being completely different. After all, that must be why it takes them 72 weeks to prepare, thinking up new and exciting themes for Christmas, rather than rehashing constantly some snowflakes, elves and the occasional penguin. Good on you, Starbucks!

* And then panic about the January sales, Valentine's Day, yada yada yada


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