The Best Christmas!

23rd of December, 2019

I love living in Adelaide!

I know I give it a bit of a razz for being backward, small and slow because, well, it is. But that’s part of the appeal.

We either do things really well or unbelievably poorly. Unfortunately, there is just a lot to poke fun of in SA.

But we can do Christmas! In fact this little backwater lays claim to hosting the 2nd largest parade of its kind in the world, following only New York’s Thanksgiving Parade.

It’s the largest in both the southern hemisphere and hands down beats everything else in the Commonwealth!

Don’t miss the official DVD!

It’s a sight to behold with over 325,000 people line the streets of Adelaide  to watch 63 floats, 15 bands, 265 clowns and dozens of dancing groups and other performers give a little bit of Christmas over the 3.4km route.

Its officially recognised as a “heritage icon” by the National Trust of Australia and a wonderful spectacle to enjoy!

Nearly 2,000 volunteers pitch in to ensure that it all goes off without a hitch.

It is hard to believe that such an extravagant event could occur in a place I poke fun at. But even when us Adelaidians do things well, we find a way of becoming an easy target.

Like the fact the organizers of the Christmas pageant actually still sell an “Official DVD” of each year’s pageant. I wouldn’t even know how to play a DVD these days; but if you’d like to order one…

Christmas Pageant DVD

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

The Magical Mr Edward Hayward

It all started in 1896 when Mr Edward Waterfield Hayward, the owner of the famed department store John Martins, wanted to create a wonderful community Christmas experience. His solution has become an integral part of Christmas in Adelaide – the ‘Magic Cave’ home of Santa and his elves for the Christmas season.

It is here where thousands of hyped up screaming kids visit the cave with stressed out, exhausted parents. It is a wonderful Christmas experience that is never forgotten, and many parents are still trying to recover from.

But think about it for a moment.

We talk about how land is critical to everything and yet even with all the magic and make-believe of Santa he still needs land! – I do concede that his house in the North Pole probably isn’t flush with infrastructure….

Adelaide’s iconic Christmas pageant is born

The attraction of Santa in his Magical John Martins Cave worked very well for some time until retail struggled during the great depression. To inspire some festive cheers (which translates to money through the till) Mr Hayward once again put on his thinking cap.

This time inspired by New York’s Parade, he decided to create his own and in November 1933 Adelaide’s iconic Christmas pageant was born.

Wanting to ensure that the two Christmas events were tied together, Father Christmas is ALWAYS the very last float. The pageant doesn’t officially end until the jolly old man steps off his sleigh and is relaxing in his Magic Cave where children can meet him and find out if they’ve been naughty or nice.

Cynically you could say that Adelaide’s iconic Magic Cave and Christmas Pageant are really just a massive marketing ploy designed to remind everybody that its time to go shopping! This years pageant was on the 10th November reinforcing it is more about launching Christmas shopping than celebrating Christmas.

Photo by from Pexels

We all know that Christmas has turned into a complete advertising fuzz full of marketers and money men trying to hijack the festive season for profit regardless of your religious bent.

Like how The Montgomery Ward Department Store created the story of Rudolph the Reindeer as a marketing gimmick to encourage children to buy their Christmas colouring books.

And how about KFC’s 1947 Japanese marketing campaign “Kentucky for Christmas!”  that offered a “Christmas (like) dinner”. (NB the like is my emphasis as in my opinion KFC struggles to serve chicken, so passing its nearly chicken off as Turkey I think is a bit of a stretch!!)

Believe it or not but it’s now a Japanese tradition to eat some KFC come Xmas day – not bad for a country with a population of basically zero Christians.

You don’t have to look too hard at Christmas time to see the drivers in action. Like the fact that the worst song that Paul McCartney’s ever recorded still earns about $500,000 a year due to his government granted royalty. I challenge anyone to listen to the whole song…

Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, my mum’s favourite Christmas ditty receives about $620,000 each “Giving Season”.

A creative US company harnessed their Christmas spirit by making playing cards to give to US P.O.W.s during World War II as Christmas presents. These cards, when soaked in water revealed escape routes for P.O.W.s. The Nazis never found out.

I just have to mention the “L” word

Modern Christmas has its origins in the Christian Church. The ancient origins could fill more than a blog and although we do like to consult history, I don’t think we need to delve back further than the beginnings of Christian times today.

Adelaide is known as “The City of Churches” and this got me thinking about the church.

Where do you find all the churches?

Opposite McDonalds stores….. Well nearly, but have you ever thought how Churches are ALWAYS found in the best locations?

Go to any old city square or meeting place and there you will find a church.

They are nearly always on a corner, and the wealth that the Churches control because of the land they own (we will exclude all their other assets) is literally billions of dollars.

I am not passing judgement or making a moral plea here but I am trying to illustrate the wealth that can be created when you allow compound interest to work for as long and as hard as the productivity gains that are created by mankind.

What a recipe long term investing with compound interest and productivity gains, add the cycle and its about as good as it gets!

We talk about the Land Barons understanding the concept of location, location, location, but I think we can confidently say that McDonalds and the Churches have cottoned on to that concept pretty well too.

Photo by William Bayreuther on Unsplash and Photo by Liam Shaw on Unsplash

Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551

Speaking of churches, spare a thought for our Imperial friends and the impact of the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551 (which has not yet been repealed) where every British citizen must attend a Christian church service on Christmas Day. Further, they must not use any kind of vehicle to get to the service!

OK then…..

But in all seriousness please take care this Festive Season.

Our team at Calnan Flack wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Thanks for your trust and support, we will see you in 2020.

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So… let’s get started.

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