Edinburgh’s Christmas exposes our strange value system – Vladimir McTavish

The cost of a half-pint of beer at the giant Christmas market in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens can buy you quite a lot in a nearby shop, finds Vladimir McTavish.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 6:00 am
Edinburgh's Christmas seems to get bigger every year. Picture: Ian Georgeson

As a fully paid-up member of the Bah Humbug Party, it seems every year that Edinburgh’s Christmas gets bigger and bigger.

It now straddles both sides of the railway line through Princes Street Gardens, so even catching a train to Glasgow for some much-needed sanity, it is impossible to escape this seasonal monstrosity.

So I decided to take a leisurely stroll around the German Market to see just what it is that attracts visitors in their millions to stand about in the freezing cold. And I was surprisingly faintly impressed.

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There is something uplifting about the transformative effects of light and colour on a grey Scottish winter afternoon.

Indeed, who could not fail to impressed by the utter nerve of stalls selling beer at seven quid a pint?

I reckon Edinburgh’s Christmas is best enjoyed from a distance, either on the top deck of a bus going up The Mound, or from the café on the third floor of Primark.

I settled down there for a break from shopping, and enjoyed my £2 cup of coffee. Just five minutes earlier, I had bought two pairs of socks in the same shop for £2, and a hat for £1.50.

What kind of bizarre values do we now have where a cup of coffee is worth twice as much as a pair of gloves? In other words, two pairs of gloves and a hat for the price of a half-pint of beer? Bah humbug!