A Festive Flashback…. [The Ghost of Christmas Past]

Time to get in a festive mood, so here is a flashback from November 2008 – HERE

‘Here come the girls…’ is the chant from the new Boots Christmas advert, obviously pandering to it’s female market by illustrating how women are better at organisation than men.

To do this Boots have made a short ‘fly-on-the-wall’ documentary about a group of women who are in the advanced stages of ‘Secret Santa’.  Each woman has pulled a colleague’s name out of Santa hat, and now they’re stampeding, like a cattle dressed in tinsel, to Boots to buy cheap and cheerful goods for Christmas. One of the token blokes is shown as being so incompetent that he is seen trying to gift wrap a stapler.

Part of me dislikes this ad because I think it encourages men to wallow in the myth that they are  incapable at choosing suitable gifts, and thus it discourages them from putting any effort into doing any Christmas shopping. Basically, women get lumbered with present finding. It’s not on. Being a man is not an excuse to be useless.

Anyhow, I do like that this ad is set in an office, and I like the tune, but I think that Boots are missing out all the good bits that only happen at Christmas, so I suggest a ‘Here come the girls’ sequel. In the sequel, Boots join forces with the people who make the alcohol awareness information films and together they show the true horrors that are unwrapped at the annual office party.

Firstly there is always a weeping wailing woman who sobs into her soup for 3hrs, making horrible stains across the tablecloth. In a drunken stupor she confesses loudly that she has been sleeping with the Group Operations Director for the last 3 months, but now he’s dumped her for a bright and shiny 18yr old receptionist. Nobody is surprised by this revelation as the GOD has form.

Then focus should shift to the couple who throughout the year have been working each other up into a sexual frenzy with furtive glances and breathy tension. At the Christmas party they cross the line of no return resulting in a ripped shirt, laddered tights and a pair of lost knickers. The next day he brags, and she denies. It takes another 6 months of furtive glances and breathy tension before they do the exact same thing at the company cheese and wine party. Six years later they get married. And buy a bungalow.

Finally there’s the drunken blonde floosey whose party piece is to snog everyone under the mistletoe and declare undying love, forever and ever, to anyone who’ll listen. She then takes it upon herself to entertain her colleagues by scrambling unassisted onto the table to belt out a rousing chorus of ‘I Will Survive’, just before flashing her tits at her boss and throwing up in his lap . Oops.

At least we don’t have to put up with this nightmare in 2020.

46 thoughts on “A Festive Flashback…. [The Ghost of Christmas Past]

  1. Jon

    Terrible advert. Why would anyone in their right mind buy their present from Boots the Chemist anyway? Savers and Superdrug sell exactly the same stuff, only cheaper. Jx

    PS Been to plenty of work dos where at least one, maybe more, of the scenarios you describe actually happened. You missed the older lady who doesn’t normally drink who has to be physically manhandled into a taxi while people struggle to find out her address ‘cos she can’t remember, and meanwhile her false teeth to set are still on a beermat next to her unfinished eighth gin & tonic…

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
      1. Scarlet Post author

        Jon – I can well believe! We have obviously been to similar parties. I remember one older lady coming out of the party and simply falling flat on her face on the pavement. It was okay, she lived, though she may have needed false teeth afterwards.
        Sx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jon

        Oh, the joys of office parties! Funny thing is, where I work now (when we were actually able to go to the office), in over ten years we never had such decadent nights, just (very) occasional group drinks that always finished early. Very boring. Not like the last place I worked… Jx

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Scarlet Post author

        Jon – Did you ever work in the square mile? At Christmas / New Year it used to be a square mile of pavement pizzas, I can’t recall how many pairs of shoes I ruined. Awful.
        Sx

        Like

  2. Nick Rogers

    I can’t remember any office parties anywhere I worked. My workmates clearly didn’t believe they had to endure such things. They were more likely to have some pre-Christmas drinks with their best pals. One workplace did have a Secret Santa though. I think most people were disappointed with what they received. Especially the fundraising manager who was presented with a blow-up female and was desperately trying to get rid of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  3. Inexplicable DeVice

    Thank gods – or just you, Ms Scarlet – for repeats, as I missed this the first time around (both on your blog, and on the telly – I must’ve stopped watching “live” TV with adverts sometime before 2008, it seems…).
    Anyway, I’m great at buying presents! As long as whoever I’m buying for has told me EXACTLY what they want (with two back-ups should the primary gift of choice be unavailable)… Without clear and specific instructions, I find myself spiralling into a deeper and faster whirlwind of anxiety over the suitablilty of EVERYTHING/ANYTHING. The gift mustn’t be frivolous (could be seen as tacky/tat/thoughtless/rushed), mustn’t be practical (“An iron?? You think I like ironing?!?” “No! No. I just remember you saying your iron keeps leaking…” “A bloody iron!?!”)*, can’t be clothing (even if one gets the right size, the smile on their face when they open it says “this is going straight to charity”), chocolate’s a no-no too (cop-out gift), any plant (indoor or outdoor) will almost certainly be dead by mid-January, and almost everything else has either too much packaging, is plastic, isn’t recyclable, is a drain on resources, comes from China, has put out a bigger carbon footprint while getting made/delivered than that massive Monty Python foot that descends from the clouds! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!

    * breathes into a paper bag *

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
      1. Scarlet Post author

        Mr Devine – I was bought something similar to an iron once. A stony silence followed. And there were a few tears. Just NEVER buy household appliances for Christmas, unless they’re Smeg.
        Sx

        Like

      1. Jon

        I like shopping – I used to spend hours wandering around charity shops and vintage shops, aimlessly looking for something interesting to buy, and have been known to spend a whole afternoon traipsing the whole of the West End to find for the perfect jacket or shirt, or more likely, trimmings! Not at the moment. Bloody COVID. Jx

        PS We own an iron, but it has never been out of its box.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. looby

        I wish someone from the Anglo-German Council of Cross-Cultural Linguistics had had a word with the founders of the well-known upmarket German white (sic) goods manufacturer before they’d decided to name their company “Smeg”.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. batarde

    Pffffthh. I think being a bloke is an absolutely top-hole, copper-bottomed excuse for being useless. God knows I’ve been reminded enough, by Jenni Murray, Jane Garvey, Sally bloody Wainwright, Jo Brand … one could go on but doesn’t like to. The cool Scandinavian one, what’s her name? Aaaargh: Mariella Frostrup!! .

    Anyway, they sell Chanel in Boots now, so this post is obsolete. Bah!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. savannah49

    I haven’t been to an office Christmas party in over 20 years! I can honestly say it was boring as all get out! Love the advert! AND, thank you for the link (on the youtube) of Lucy Worsley and The History of Houses!! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. melaniereynolds

    It’s been a long time since I’ve attended a Christmas office party, but I do remember the bulk of them being nothing more than Starbucks gift cards being passed around. Everyone wanted to play it safe, no one wanting to risk a job with health and a good pension. One long time accounting manager was being a bit silly one day and bopped a female subordinate in the ass with a tissue box. She reported it, it was considered sexual harassment and he was fired two years from receiving full retirement benefits (requires 30 years of service). No amount of apology could undo it. The woman who made the complaint could not undo it! She only wanted him to receive a stern warning, not be fired for it! I think it was used as leverage to trim the books because they couldn’t fire us without a valid cause. I’m sure it saved the department a good bit of money and the Director likely got a nice bonus for his “cost cutting measure.” It was the most soul-sucking job I’d ever worked at.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Hello and welcome, Melanie!
      I think this is a warning about making workplace complaints. The organisation mentioned here does sound a bit OTT. I don’t think any of the men I’ve worked with would have survived there.
      I did enjoy my office jobs – more for the social life than for the work!
      Sx

      Like

      Reply
  7. dinahmow

    I remember my father buying Mother an electric egg beater.The purchase was made about the end of october , when Mama started making cakes and puddings. Nicely wrapped and hidden away until 25th. Mama continued whipping and beating eggs and cream and potatoes into mountainous mounds. Damn’ near broke her whisking wrist and needed help to unwrap her gift.A shiny electric beater! She almost killed him with it…

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  8. Scarlet Post author

    Mr Mags – I have a mission for you and your stapler – I can’t get into my WordPress dashboard, can you see if you can get into yours? Maybe I’ve been hacked? Ack.
    Sx

    Like

    Reply
    1. 63mago

      Sorry, I read this just right now, Fryday early evening. Yes – I can use all parts of WordPress, dashboard included.
      I can not understand that you have difficulties with the program – you mentioned that the new “block editor” would not work properly, and you then & again have problems to access your own dashboard.. Here it simply works – sometimes it needs a bit longer to save or to show a preview, but I – at least until now – had access. I have no “tweaks” or somesuch, I use it just “out of the box”. In the end it can only be caused by something with the connection to the web ?
      I am sorry MsScarlet that I did not see your request earlier, and even more sorry that I am obviously of no help.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. lisleman

    Of course COVID has changed most everything about the office. Well, or so I’ve gathered since I’ve been retired for a few years. Those decadent office parties of the 70’s, 80’s were probably fun for some but as an above comment pointed out, tragic for some too. Your post had me thinking of a past office party that strongly suggested that your spouse/date accompany you. There was a dancing limbo contest. My wife won. Great memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Bill – I think there was one posh do a year where partners were invited, but mostly they were banned. The posh dos were evening dress, flashy London Hotel, and a proper band – and minding your manners – I don’t miss them.
      Happy Christmas!
      Sxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  10. The Mistress

    Ugh. This reminds me of once having worked in an office that held Christmas parties AND Secret Santa gift exchanges. I refused to participate in either of those events. It’s no wonder I didn’t rise to the top (you don’t lose if you schmooze) but in my opinion, it was a price worth paying.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. 63mago

    Ah, you Brits, always avantguarde. Now it is not single person’s quarantaine, it is total quarantaine for the whole island, the first taste of “Brexit” ? You did not plan to travel the continent, didn’t you ?
    I seriously hope that all Devon things (mud, murk, cows) now work to your advantage, and keep aliens, and their viruses, away from your door.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. Kev

    I’m sure I’ve bored you before with the story about the time the police called on the library service’s Christmas party to ask them to turn the noise down because there’d been a complaint from the pub across the road.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  13. Bohemian

    At an Office Party once the Dried Floral Arrangement was too near the lit Votive Candle, caught on Fire and someone threw an Alcoholic Drink on it to douse it!!!… well, luckily everyone at the Table lived…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Scarlet Post author

      Bohemian – Oh my goodness! I have to hold my hand up and say that I have been one of those idiots who has accidentally set light to a table arrangement. IT IS EASILY DONE. We shall leave it there.
      Sx

      Like

      Reply

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