I am uncertain as to what disturbed me more – the emphatic nature of the blistering neon pronouncement or the fact that it was up chirpy-as-you like on the 1st of November.

Its punchy though – with a sense of movie scale to it – bought to you by the people who bought you Destination Christmas XI – Return of the Killer Heel and Destination Christmas XII – Judgement Day.  

Also, at least its cleared up the answer to the ‘where will it all end?’ question. Whatever binge and flail we get into over the next 45 days or so, at least we know where we’re headed. Thank Christ for that I say. (And I say that as a gesture of precise theological acknowledgement.)

Not that 90% of the people out there flailing and bingeing with us will have any interest in The Christ’s Mass – and would probably view its rendering in two words as a spelling error. But for those who still view Christmas through a more traditional if still commercial lens – as a religious festival with a large meal and a shopping trip attached – its a fair and meaningful target to aim for. 

The other saving grace for many of the indigenous tribe is that, in the increasingly politically correct world of ‘happy holiday’, it is religiously prescriptive.

I must say though that the word Destination carries with it a slightly bleak undertow for me. It suggest to me that, for all the struggle and endurance it took to get through hell, high-water and the last minute Christmas Eve rat-race of throwing women and children behind you to get to that last ‘squeeze and talk’ inflatable i-tablet at inflatable cost, come the 25th it’s all over. BOOM!  After that, if liquidity issues of a financial form, like Bankruptcy, haven’t done for you, liquidity issues in the form of galloping cirrhosis, Carol singer spittle, drunken injury and increasingly inebriated, increasingly irritating in-laws probably will

Destination does though give a fair representation of our insanely commercial and emotionally over-cranked Christmas Surge & Stop and its foreshortening effect on our ability to see beyond the end of our reddening yo-ho-ho noses.

With this tsunami of ‘ding-dong-merrily-on-high madness’ strung all about us, it is not only difficult to picture any life beyond Christmas – it is almost impossible. Everything is rendered with such an all-consuming and finite neon bright absolutism that its proving difficult to even peek past quarter-past-six on Christmas Day eve and see what’s coming.  Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are currently presented as some mutated form of Christmas Afterlife.

If Dante were alive today I sense his Inferno would be replaced by a spiralling, thrashing, gnashing descent through a hellish virtual HD Advent Calendar towards a small stable where the baby Jesus,  illuminated by the celestial touch screen light of an i-pad (parental locks on of course) lies back on an IKEA manger rendered in reclaimed wood, generously upholstered with Liberty scatter-cushions, flanked by Mary, decked in full D&G, on WeChat with the girls post baby-drop and Joseph, a gamer programmer carving IP wonders in binary code where he stands, sporting a Gaultier Clog carved in wholly replenishable pine. The livestock would be provided with total traceability by M&S Food & Wine: and the 3 Wise Men would be sporting both Google sponsorship and Glasses, having not quite deciphered where to head off to post-visit and in need of a little magical guidance: that ‘in need of a Destination’ issue again.

So Destination Christmas XIII. We know you’re here. We can see you, boy can we see you. You could hardly be missed. But frankly, come January 6th 2014, you’ll be more than just ‘not missed’ – you’ll be actively scorned, cursed, pilloried and blamed for the emotional devastation and financial burden you have wrought in the world – and the pressures you have ‘forced upon’ every one of us who foolishly forgot to just be happy with one big pressie, a few small ones and a stocking just for fun. Damn You!