December 2017

A commercialised festival?A commercialised festival?

It's easy to add a festive twist to just about anything. From a monster under the bed becoming a thoughtful gift-giver to a carrot finding love during the holiday season, advertising creatives (on behalf of John Lewis and Aldi in this instance) are masters of Yuletide spin. Here at the Wanstead Village Directory, we strive to add a similar dose of Christmas spirit to our publication at this time of year. But compiling an editorial plan for our annual Lillies of Wanstead-fronted December issue does not require a multi-million pound budget, nor does it require a heartstring-tugging soundtrack... or any carrots for that matter. There's never any shortage of local seasonal events to highlight or festive artwork to display.

The concept of Christmas-ising the world around us goes hand in hand with the sometimes derided and the sometimes celebrated notion of the commercialisation of the festival. But leaving aside the debates surrounding the meaning of Christmas, there is a principle at work here that extends beyond the annual holiday and it's called upselling. The Christmas-ising of our homes and surroundings at this time of year is, in many ways, the greatest upsell story ever told, with most of us finding ourselves easily swayed to buy more than we need. Upselling certainly isn't restricted to Christmas, but it's a sales tactic that works particularly well at this time of year when disguised among the red, gold and green-tinted glow of December.

As a free magazine, we may not have to worry about selling copies or upselling subscriptions, but if we did, I doubt we would need flatulent monsters or talking carrots to do so. Wanstead itself is our greatest sales tool. The people in it, the events they organise, the art they produce, the causes they fight for and the businesses they run. Christmas-ising Wanstead? Well, that's just gilding the lily.