Written by Phrank Phraser
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Sunday, 7 December 2003

A few Christmases ago, when those advent step candles first became all the rage, I remember thinking: what a novel idea – now why didn’t I think of that? And then when outdoor festive lights took off big time, I thought: now that’s clever.

Very clever in fact. I mean, that one didn’t even have to be invented did it? After all, they’ve been doing it in the States for years now.

It’s not the money, you understand. I just wanted to come up with something new and original so I could say: 'Hey, I thought of that!" So, a couple of years ago, after one drink too many during the New Year celebrations, I made my resolution to start off the next Yuletide trend.

After meditating meaningfully through March, jostling judiciously with my brain through July, and studying sensibly all the way through September, eventually, it hit me.

Tradition, I thought. Tradition. Yes! Let’s go back to old tradition. Before I knew it the ‘Yuletide plain house-front complete with decoration-free window’ had been invented.

Then, just as I was beginning to plan my next move, another idea manifested itself. The ‘festive non-illuminated garden’. Suddenly, and with no extra effort, I’d got a small product range. That was it – it was just a question of marketing it now.

I cast my mind back to previous Christmases.

Now, on our street there appears to be some sort of contest to see who can switch on first each year. I seemed to remember number 173 taking last year’s prize and being fully a-glow two-thirds of the way through November.

I made my final plans. Half way through November, my ‘festive non-illuminated garden’ was the first attraction on the road. Number 97 counter-attacked a few days later with their ‘multi-coloured Rudolf on the side of the house concoction’.

But then I went for it. I didn’t hold back. The very next day I introduced my ‘plain house front complete with decoration free window’. It was an instant success.

84 and 112 immediately followed suit along with half-a-dozen-or-so other households. News of my innovation, it seemed, was travelling fast making 97 and 173’s efforts look decidedly dated. I was on my way.

So I’m sticking with the same format again for the next couple of
years – but then perhaps I’ll have a change.

I might even start off another trend. After all: don’t fashions repeat themselves? How about the: ‘fully illuminated house front, window and garden’?

No, perhaps not.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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