Monday, November 17, 2003

Their Hearts Are Cold - They Love Only Gold. Only Gold.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only US President to be elected four times, tried to introduce legislation to move the Thanksgiving Holiday one week early, from the fourth to the third Thursday in November, in order to give trade an extra week's Christmas shopping. The US was just coming out of the depression, Roosevelt was aware of his predecessor, Calvin Coolidge's, remark that the business of America is business, so he naturally thought he was on a winner.

Bizarrely, he wasn't. The people liked the holidays just as they were, and Thanksgiving remains the fourth Thursday in November.

Here in Ireland, where we no longer claim to be religious but do claim to be spiritual (in a Celtic sense, of course), I saw my first Christmas ad on the TV before Halloween. The streets already have lights up, the stores are packed with gifts and gift shoppers, you could easily get stampeded if you're not on your guard on Grafton Street between now and Christmas Eve.

We still have ten days until Thanksgiving in the States. The Business of Ireland is - what, exactly?