I hate Christmas. Can I say that? Well, tough, I just did…
I’d say I have never suffered at Christmas but I have. If only in very petty and silly ways. For as start there’s the Reindeer. Are they carbon neutral? How many air miles is Santa doing with all those presents? It’s probably hundreds of thousands of tonnes of C02. Hardly Copenhagen Climate summit material. Does the North Pole have to offset that? For a second, there’s the arguing with my family because my dads a grumpy bugger at Christmas because he hates it. There’s the being bored and eating too much chocolate’s – I don’t like Chomps or the chocolate or strawberry Roses but they inevitably turn up again and again every year. The feeling jealous of loads of other people supposedly happy families (is anyone like the Waltons at Xmas I wonder?) There’s the joyous Cabin Fever. Being broke. Having been dressed up in a white shirt, red bow and made to hold a battery powered candle among a choir right at the time in my life that I would have felt self concious even in a head to toe burka. Having to listen to and look at the same adverts, billboards, TV, radio, fliers and songs every year for about two months, until everyone comes back to sanity (for these two months I think the bathroom is the only place you can escape Christmas. Although you’ll probably find yourself humming a Christmas tune accidentally while in the shower). Not being able to work because I HAVE to relax (funny how when Im told to relax I can’t, but when I’m told to work I want to relax.) And assessing all I’ve achieved and done with my life in a year (Answer this year: Positively: A master’s degree and a burgeoning career which I love but gives me a twitch in my right eye. Negatively: still single, havent been travelling yet, have a burgeoning career which gives me a twitch in my right eye, back living with parents who get mad if I accidentally leave stove on in blonde moment, haven’t achieved much in the way of helping others yet.. ie talk about doing charity but never do).
I could moan ad nausem about the reasons I hate the time of year where a stupid fat man breaks into my house and leaves unsatisfactory gifts under a dressed up tree corpse that has been robbed from the forest (where it was perfectly happy), but I will leave you with four of the best.
Here are my four main reasons:
1) C is for consumerism
2) R is for repetition
3) A is for absolutely shite songs
4)P is for people being lonely and sad
As you can see my four points are as follows:
1) Consumerism – TWO MONTHS of the year. That’s a staggering one 6th of our lives we spend being heckled at to think about what we are buying for other people. (I can never afford to buy things for myself and now you want me to buy stuff for other people? Perleeze.) But that’s not the problem really as I like buying presents for people. It’s fun and satisfying and I love when they open it and it makes them happy. But Christmas actually takes all the joy out of this! Birthdays are great – you have a while to think of something lovely for the person, something special. But Christmas? Who ever thought of something as ludicrous as buying EVERYONE YOU KNOW a present, all at the same time? How are we meant to afford this? You have one of two choices. Be a scrooge and buy no one a gift and then be made to feel guilty by the entire world. Or buy everyone a gift as good as you can manage, go without a few things you actually badly need yourself and usually end up letting down a fair few despite trying really hard because they dont want or like your best efforts through no fault of their own. The shops have us whipped! Christmas ads start advertising in OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER. Now, if this was a holiday that was REALLY about the birth of Jesus and loving and giving, wouldn’t a simple few days or a week be good enough like it is for most religious holidays? Also, even if it were to be longer then a week, why the emphasis on PRESENTS? I’m not being an old fuddy duddy but since when did the birth of Jesus merit an Xbox 360? Most kids don’t care about religion at Christmas. All they care about is being spoilt rotten with gifts! Yeah, there are the few children with good parents who learn sharing is important, and giving can be fun and that mum and dad might not be able to afford to buy them very good presents this year but at least they have food and a warm house – but what about the little shites that don’t learn that?
I can’t believe I am about to utter these words – but in my day (see?) a packet of lego, magic markers or a second hand Sega Master System II was amazing. A few sweets and some clothes as you got to your teens. But whatever you were given you were so grateful for. One year my dad made me a dolls house out of scraps of wood as he used to be a carpenter (that was the best gift ever apart from Tessie, the teddy I took everywhere with me). So yes, I did have some nice presents – and I was totally happy. Kids nowadays are getting Xbox’s and Nintendo Wii’s and alot of computer stuff as well as 50 other presents. I have been a student and now a freelance journalist for the past few years, and as a result have never ever been able to afford good presents for people – but I’ve always tried so hard to make them good. It’s stressful sometimes as well as fun but I make sure I have a present for everyone who gives me one. But only because I respect my friends and familys efforts to give me a present, not because I actually agree with the raging consumerism this holiday has become based on. Every radio channel every TV station for weeks is saturated with the thing. Christmas Christmas Christmas. It makes me want to jump off a cliff. Speaking of Cliffs… no I’ll save that for number Three.
2) Repetition – A wise person said to me when I was moaning about the repetition of Christmas (ie. its every year) that some people like the reassurance of having Christmas every year. It makes them feel safe and reassured. Whatever! Go buy an alarm if you want to feel safe! In my eyes it’s such fascist regime. What if Im just not bothered with it this year? Can I escape? Eh, not likely. So I have to go along with the same rigmaroll. Every. Single. Year. And I’m sick of it.
3) Absolutely Shite Songs: Cliff! Oh why do you swing your arms like that? I know Mistletoe and wine is great and all – but while you escape to your home in the Bahamas come December we’re all stuck in the blistering cold listening to your song play over and over as we trip over double-buggy’s to grab the last reduced price make-up set for someone who doesn’t even wear eye-shadow or use foundation. There is only one Christmas song I love, and about two others that I’ll bear. The one I love is that East 17 one ‘Stay Another Day’. I also enjoy (when I’m in the mood only) Chris Rea ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ and ‘The Power of Love’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Songs I would like to gather up every copy of and hurl into the Irish sea never to be played again include – Little Drummer Boy, Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree, Merry Christmas Everyone, Christmas Time Mistletoe and Wine (dunno if these are the real names but thats because I don’t care if its the real name or not) Come they told me Par up a pam pam (that might be the drummer boy one again), Slade, you know the one.. are you hanging all your stockings on the wall? – eh no, not yet. Last Christmas I gave You My Heart – if I have to hear that one again, come looking for me in John of Gods please. Peace on earth.. can it be.. (Drummer boy again?) Walking in a Winter Wonderland… I particularly loathe that one with a passion. Fairytale of New York I used to like, but now can’t even stand because I’ve heard it so often and many, many MANY more. If I havent listed it, it’s probably there but I don’t want to think about them anymore.
4) Being Lonely and Sad – there are so many people who are lonely, homeless, friendless and sad at Christmas and they don’t have a nice family or a warm home or even anyone to send cards to. It’s not surprising many people kill themselves at this emotive time of year. Spare a thought for people who you think might be lonely and invite them around. After all, that’s what the candle in the window is about – and the meaning of Christmas with Jesus and Mary and the room at the inn. Forget gifts and getting het up about the turkey. Think about how lucky you are. If not, and you hate it as much as I do, get the hell out! Now how’s about Christmas dinner on the beach in Florida or Australia?! I think that’s where I might be next year if I can help it!