CHRISTMAS time has become a farce.

Already shops have for weeks started trying to entice customers to come through their doors and instil a sense of guilt if parents can’t afford the latest toy.

The greater the expense, the more love for the child seems to be the overriding message.

It’s a major time of reflection for Christians but I feel the true message is piggy-backed on for financial gain.

Why do so many also turn the time into a big drinking occasion?

We all like a drink but towns and cities up and down the country will have a greater police presence on Christmas Eve as drinkers pay increased prices for admission to pub and clubs to drink alcohol.

The only people to benefit are police officers on overtime and businessmen.

Accident and Emergency departments will have an even greater workload as people get physical with each other on the way home for the pub and decide to end the night with a punch up as perfunctory as an after dinner mint for some.

How many of our elderly will not be treated in a timely manner because someone’s using a bed space because of alcohol poisoning or having their nose reset after being broken by a punch?

It’s all wrong.

People need to ask themselves if they really need to celebrate Christmas.

I’m not a Hindu so why would I celebrate the Festival of Light?

The same goes for the other main religions in the world.

It’s become a cultural habit, an excuse for indulgence.

When I was a child, I was given average priced toys but taught about the real meaning behind it - commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ and it being a time for families to get together, socialise over food and to play board games.

And don’t get me started on socks - if I put all the socks together I’ve had over the years end to end the line would reach the Moon I’m sure.

And deodorant - is someone trying to tell me something?!

I’ll be sitting in the comfort of my home on Christmas Eve with my feet up with a nice cup of tea and having an early night.

Bah humbug.