While some early Christmas lights aren't the end of the world, it's a rather sad state of affairs. Not only is it frightening to see a venerable city become a marketing tool, but the West End lights are famous, and always pick a unique decorating scheme from the rest of the city. For the first time, they'll not only follow the City of London's switch-on schedule, but they'll share the city's theme. Of course, that city wide theme is A Christmas Carol, and Disney has spent a million pounds in order to deck the halls of Oxford and Regent with Scrooge related decorations. From Leicester Square and beyond, Mayor Johnson promises lights and Dickensian events will provide "one of the biggest festive celebrations the capital has ever seen."
Disney's plans are causing quite a commotion in England, and many Londoners are dismayed to see the West End tradition fall prey to such overwhelming marketing. Dickens' scholars are even weighing in as to what the author himself would think, and the surprising consensus is that he would heartily approve of anything that inspired gift giving and commerce.
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But perhaps even more intriguing than Dickens' enthusiasm for capitalism is the possibility of holiday vandalism. Unlike we Americans, who are content to loudly complain while we shop on Black Friday, someone in England is disgruntled enough to have actually formed "The Movement for the Containment of Xmas". So far, they've restricted themselves to sending nasty notes to stores threatening vandalism if they caught them selling Christmas cards before November 1.
Nevertheless, that's only over cards! Who knows what this mysterious group might do if they see an illuminated Jim Carrey looming over Leicester Square! Perhaps they'll snap altogether and boil those responsible in their own pudding, and bury them with stakes of holly through their heart.