People who think Seinfeld is funny, and people like me.
People who like pigeons, and people like me.
People who believe that promoting Christmas from November 1st is a bad thing, if only because Hallowe'en (that's how it's spelt, by the way) stops them from doing it in September, after the summer holidays.
And there's people like me.
I'm not a fan of Christmas.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a 'Bah! Humbug!' sort of guy. Much.
But when I was growing up, not (okay maybe) so many years ago, Christmas was a good time, a happy time for families and not-so-happy time for turkeys.
You never saw a Christmas tree earlier than mid-December and the lights only went on the week before the big day.
You went to bed on Christmas Eve, trying to remember whether you'd been naughty or nice, and finally slept, determined to catch ol' St. Nick in his red Coca-Cola suit leaving presents and scarfing the mince pie and glass of port (it was cold outside, you understand) that you'd left for him.
And you woke up, to see it snowing outside if you were lucky, before rushing your parents with
"It's Christmas! Santa's been!!"
at four in the morning.
Everybody benefited. It was a spiritual sorbet, cleansing the proverbial palate of the strife and strain of the past year.
It was a chance for a new beginning, a fresh start, where people could make resolutions to be better in the coming year.
A happy, innocent time for families.
Not any more, sad to say.
Commercialism has dealt the holiday season a deathblow.
The Christmas lights went up the first week in November, almost eight weeks before Christmas (I refuse to refer to it as Xmas and I'm not even religious).
The City Centre closed for four hours last Sunday while someone 'officially' switched on the Christmas lights in O'Connell St.
Four Hours! How the 4*%# does it take four hours to flip a switch announcing there's five shopping weeks left?
And between now and Dec. 24th you'll take your life in your hands trying to find that Nintendo Wii or whatever the toy du siecle happens to be, abrogating your responsibilities to your fellow man so that your kid (who knows what it's all about, trust me) can have the particular top-of-the-league item that 'all their friends are getting, honest' only to discard it after a couple of weeks because the cool's worn off and I'm venting, aren't I?
Look, it's almost December. Pass the word.
I'm issuing Captain Incredible's Holiday Directive #1:
Observe the spirit of Christmas.
Watch either 'It's A Wonderful Life', 'Miracle on 34th St.' or 'Scrooged'.
Perform an unexpected act of kindness for a total stranger, even one you're never going to meet.
Coins in the return slot. Toys for orphans. Clothes for the poor. A helping hand for those who truly need it. Think of something.
Revive the spirit of Christmas. Make it social, ethical even, if not religious.
Do it all year around.