A week late with this, but what the heck, publish and be damned.
It’s seems like the run up to Christmas has lasted an eternity! Being subjected to tinsel and shit since the end of September doesn’t help my mood and I’ve yet to see or hear of any compelling reason to cheer up about this time of the year. In fact, it’s probably got even worse this year, what with the advent of new ingenious ways of parting stupid people with their money, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now Panic Saturday. Fucking marketing people have a lot to answer for!
But since someone in work did seriously ask me why I detest Christmas so much, I’ve had a good thinking session to see into my little dark soul for an answer to that question, as I’ve never been sincerely asked before and I’ve never really cared to be honest.
So Mark, think back, when was the last time you can remember being sincerely happy at Christmas? Not a bloody clue! Looking back at old photos in the family album is must have been 1983 or something, when I was 12.
The long journey to and from work gives me time to think, and so I think I’ve come up with a few reasons why I detest Christmas so much.
I’m a manic depressive, so Christmas is a hard time if I’m in the depressive spell but even being in the mania stage doesn’t really cheer me up. I used to drink through the week of Christmas so I’d have no recollection but I’m teetotal now that pleasure has been taken away from me now.
I have many happy memories of Christmas as a child, sitting down with my family opening presents and stuffing our faces with food at dinner time before collapsing on the sofa and sleeping it all off.
But drifting off to sleep on public transport while going to work on Christmas Eve suddenly gave me a glimpse of why Christmas sucks to me.
By the mid-80’s, my oldest brother got married and moved out. A few years later, my older brother moved out, and looking back I think it was these two events that destroyed Christmas to me. Yes we all met up at this time of year, but it wasn’t the same. Suddenly we were adults and despite my wish to grow old disgracefully and stay mentally young for as long as possible, the magic was gone. It was somewhat abated by my nieces and nephews growing up.
This is getting stupid now.
John Lewis’ sentimental drivel about a bear and a penguin for the last two years, selling nothing but a utopia of love and understanding at Christmas.
Many of the adverts these days portray a Christmas that are alien to many of us normal folk who don’t have large living rooms with trees reaching to the ceiling with a ton of lights and tinsel and crap. In my mind, we’re being fed an aspiration of what our Christmas SHOULD be like, not the reality and yet people will fall of this shit and think “THAT’S WHAT WE MUST HAVE!”
This hasn’t changed much since I was a child, still the same shit rolled out.
And what shitty films are they going to repeat this year? Wizard of fucking Oz again? The Great Escape surely?
The usual Christmas specials of shite programs (I’m looking at you Open All Hours remake!), TV list shows, top 50 shocking celebrity/TV/christmas moments of 2014.
Christmas makes travelling through town a pain in the ass, and when you work on the other side of the city, you have no choice but to go through it on public transport. But you don’t need to be on a bus to see this, just sit down in any city centre, and just watch and look around you. What do you see? People carry bags of stuff they can’t afford, for children who won’t be interested in it after a couple of weeks, and who’s spend the rest of the year paying the shit off just in time to go through the time shit next Christmas.
Goodwill to all mankind
While I agree with the sentiment, why should it be restricted to just one day in the year? Why can’t we behave like proper human being, and self-aware of those less fortunate in our communities?
Doesn’t it follow that it’s alright to be complete bastards to each other the rest of the year?
So bah humbug, Grinch, Scrooge and all those other names you can call me, fuck you, I don’t care. I can’t stand Christmas, the false fucking sentimentality of it all, the hard sell to get people to spend more money that they haven’t got.
I’m sure if Prince Albert and Queen Victoria could see what their idea of Christmas has become, they’d think bloody twice about introducing so many of the traditions we take so much for granted these days.
But there is hope…
For me this year there was one thing that really made me smile in December. Myself and the wife were invited to a celebrate St Lucia which a Swedish friend on December 13th this year. In a packed church we listened to two hours of wonderful singing by the local Swedish community, before tucking into saffron buns and gingerbread. Yummy 🙂
I emailed this to my dear friend Mrs N, who isn’t as cynical as I am, and she said:
To counteract your arguments (which, incidentally, I find to be mainly very true and insightful!), the reasons that I do like Christmas are as follows:
- For one month a year people, on the whole, are in better spirits and looking forward to well deserved breaks from work.
- I have a little boy at home who still has the wonderful naivety that comes with being four years old and nearly wets himself at the mere mention of Santa.
- The normally rather dull, streets of Exeter are filled with pretty fairy lights.
- Our living room is a very colourful and festive room to relax in of an evening.
- I get at least three days at home, without any pressure to leave the house for work/shopping/school/nursery during which I can enjoy the simple pleasures of life (playing with the kids, introducing Thomas to old, classic Christmas movies etc etc).
- I can sod the diet and stuff my face without guilt