The mince pies that shame our supermarkets

Rants against consumerism at Christmas get earlier every year. The Rev Alan McDonald, moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, got his sales pitch in last week.

And well done to him. I’ve been fulminating about the mince pies in supermarkets since mid-September. Some are cut price already, having passed their sell-by date. The manufacturers don’t seem to realise that Christmas has been on December 25 for quite some time. The average Briton spends £813 on Christmas and I’ve been guilty of spending much more myself.

We cannot blame it all on the shops. It is us, the consumer, who has also helped to make Christmas what it has become, an almost interminable tawdry spending crescendo from which it takes the better part of the year to recover. I’m beginning to feel quite nostalgic for the days when, in Scotland, Christmas was treated as a kind of popish infection and was sniffily ignored by great swathes of the population.

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