i Editor's Letter: Scrooge or Cratchit


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There was a mother in Westfield yesterday. It was 10am, and she had had it. "We have a whole day of this to go," she yelled at her two 'tweens'. "You either pretend you came from the same womb, or I'll dump the both of you here." They sucked on their smoothies with disdain. No need for "whatever", it was self-evident in their slurp.

Christmas can be hellish if you let it be, but it's not a true hell; it's not like working next to someone you cannot stand, who gets jacket potato with chili con carne for lunch and eats it at their desk; or ending the school week with double physics; or standing on a Northern line train in the rush hour.

There is no real choice about any of the above – unlike Christmas. We all choose the present-buying mania; we choose that frenzied obsession with tree and turkey, those mince pies or a cake no-one really likes anyway. We all choose to overspend, overgive, overeat, overimbibe, and worst of all: overworry. The world will turn if you don't serve Brussels sprouts (parboil, then saute with butter and pancetta – they will be a huge hit).

The choice is Scrooge or Cratchit. At i, the editorial floor is, as ever, Team Scrooge, lacking fairylights or tinsel. As ever, the commercial team is full of Cratchits, creating decorations on non-existent budgets. I judged the ad team's tinsel-off yesterday. What pressure: there were poems, videos, stars, mince pie and alcoholic bribes - even some strategically-located mistletoe. I am happy to say the education team won. Here's a detail from their work. Over here, it's all "Bah! Humbug!" Not me. I pledge to be full of festive cheer. Let's see how long it lasts.