I don’t like Christmas much.
I don’t know why but it tends to send me into a gloom. The rituals associated with it are, to me, mundane and absurd. Not the religious ones mind you but let’s not get started about that.
Here is my reasoning:
1 It goes on for so long. The earliest I have ever seen an advert is 10th October. Promise. This means that I can have a personal competition. Earliest advert, earliest time ‘White Christmas’ is on TV, earliest time ‘Fairytale of New York’ is played etc.
2 The pressure leading up to it is intense. From November 1st, everything must be done ‘before Christmas’. Even the work started on 20th December. Result, I tend to get exhausted from trying to do this and get ill over Christmas.
3 It’s all on one day. The Americans have Thanksgiving where they eat too much, Christmas for presents and New Year to drink yourself insensible. The mad Brits on the other hand try to do all three on one day.
4 The forced bonhomie. You must be Happy at Christmas. You aren’t allowed to be glum or you are ‘spoiling the day’.
5 I don’t like turkey much. It’s not that I won’t eat it but memories of overdone meat from my childhood have had an effect.
6 The office party. Not so much the party but the inevitable drunken fools getting home on the roads or the train.
My birthday is close to Christmas and therefore got subsumed into the Santa overkill. The number of times I got combined presents (and I know I should be grateful but as a small child it’s hard) was large.
It is a waste of a lot of things. The amount of thrown away food, unwanted gifts and sheer commercialism of it is shameful.
The family row. There’s always one. It usually involves my Brother in Law.
A friend of mine has a different routine. He and his wife drive to the coast and if fine, go for a walk. If it is raining, they stay in the car and look out for a bit. They then share a thermos of Lobster Thermidor and drive home. Bliss.
Having said all that, on December 25th, I shall sit down to something like a Beef Wellington with my family and give my nearest and dearest a present and be pleased (or look pleased) at what I receive. I shall not drive after having a drink. I shall not drive early in the morning after having a drink. I shall try hard not to get wound up.
And the first day I can, I shall go out for some ‘me’ time. Somewhere quiet and remote. I shall find a tree and I shall shout at it for some time. The tree will listen carefully and then, with a rustle of branches, will whisk my shouts away on the breeze.
And I shall think of the months ahead. Only 360 shopping days till the next one. Sigh.
A Moodscope member.