So ran the headline on a magazine I glimpsed while 'christmas hunting' in a round of the local supermarkets and 'big shed' stores. This year I have noticed a marked decrease in both the size and variety contained in many of the christmas offerings. It seems as if there are fewer seasonal specialities to eat as compared to last year, and that the decorating trends are more modest. There is a marked absence of LED lawn reindeer and similar items this year, and the lighting displays are much more subtle and subdued.

But is this such a bad thing? In a chat with a French friend, he explained that the sort of christmas we have in the UK and the USA seem to be unique to our culture, whereas the more catholic european cultures tend to celebrate christmas as a more personal, religious festival, and only for christmas day.

Your thoughts and observations please.

(and the macadamia nuts... I thought I'd buy myself a packet for a treat but they are gone... nowhere to be found at any price... Have they all been hijacked and turned into cosmetic products? Just a small packet of roasted salted macadamia nuts... is isn't that much to ask, is it?)