I’m not an everything-is-worse-than-it-used-to-be kind of person. I think there is loads to love about our modern world.
Whenever I think it would have been lovely to have been born in a time when people clip-clopped across an unspoilt landscape on a handsome horse, I remind myself that: a) I would have been the person scrubbing the scullery floor not riding the horse and b) that would have been pre-antibiotics. And who wants to live without those?
So modern life is fine and, you might not think it immediately but - trust me - festive fashion is a marvellous barometer of how much better life has become.
When I was a teenager, back at the beginning of time, festive dressing meant tying a bit of tinsel around your head. This was okay, as far as it went, but essentially unimaginative.
We did our best with the hand we were dealt. Wearing tinsel around your head in a Leeds city centre pub on Christmas Eve (there was a great deal of Christmas Eve drinking back then) meant lots of chat with lots of boys, but there is no disguising it was a limited festive fashion experience.
Later things improved a little. There was the silver lurex cardigan which could be brought out of the back of the wardrobe every Christmas and worn with the tinsel for added sparkle. This was a favourite combination of mine for several Christmases in a row.
Eventually, in the bling era of the late 1980s, the Christmas earring came to pass, and we all moved gratefully on from the tinsel to the Christmas tree dangling from the ear.
Imagine our excitement when technology moved on so far as to enable our earrings to be fitted with small batteries that made them flash red and green.
Yes, exactly like traffic lights. These were not really looks for boys though.
After that there was a bit of a hiatus, a time when the Christmas earring was just for social workers and nothing had arrived to fill the festive fashion gap.But not now. Now, festive fashion has reached, I believe, it’s most glorious time.
On Saturday, as I squeezed myself through the tighly-packed mass of people that is the German Market in Millennium Square, I saw just how glorious.
In the queue for the beer tent - have you noticed, whatever time of night or day, there is always a queue for the beer tent - was the most glorious selection of Christmas jumpers. Everyone in that queue was wearing one. It was fabulous. There were grown-up people and quite macho men all wrapped in Santas, Rudolphs, reindeer antlers, snowflakes and snowmen.
Some had a real Rudolph’s nose knitted on, some had a real flashing Rudolph’s nose to enliven the waiting time.
There were hats too, though not as many as jumpers. Two young men had hats in the shape of Santa’s legs on their heads, as if disappearing down the chimney. Another two were wearing onesies with antlers, looking like rather disconsolate reindeer. And it wasn’t just the German market. I made inquiries, and wherever my family had been that day, they had all been surrounded by festive jumpers.
And I am not one to be left out. I too have my festive jumper. It’s tasteful, a cream background, with skiiers on it, so I can wear it after Christmas for a bit too - I’m a canny shopper. Trouble is, I bought my entire family the exact same jumper for a little joke last Christmas, so now we have to wear it on a rota basis to save annoying each other.
But I thoroughly applaud the burgeoning popularity of the festive jumper. It is a street fashion that makes me smile. It’s fun, it’s friendly and it’s festive – and it’s forgiving when you have eaten a dozen too many mince pies. Life really couldn’t get any better.