I actually detest christmas. I spent a lot of years pretending I like it but in all honesty I absolutely loathe and detest this time of year.
I hate all the tacky tinsel, the silly santa lights, those insane people who spend a fortune on electric turning their house into a psychedelic winter nightmare. I hate christmas music, christmas telly, santa outfits, grottos, turkey, crackers and blow up snowmen. And I chuck all christmas cards in the bin so don't bother the Degu witch with your seasonal snowy views.
I respect the Christian core beliefs but as Jesus was most definitely not born in December I'm a bit unsure why they want to celebrate it at this time of year? Bless them, they get a bit confused sometimes. And their message seems to have morphed from loving your fellow man and maybe giving him a touch of frankincense to eating, drinking and spending to excess. (I'd get that sorted New Archbish if I were you. Maybe explain to your flock that Jesus probably wouldn't have been a fan of all this consumerism. And I can't see him wearing a paper hat or playing charades either...)
And incidentally, why does christmas have to start in August? It completely spoils the Autumn for me. Mind you, I save a fortune as when tinsel makes its first appearance I stop shopping. And I wear my headphones everywhere just in case Slade makes a sudden appearance to assault my non festive ears.
I'm so vitriolic on the subject of christmas loathing that I've even been asked if I have some secret traumatic past that has scarred me into my dislike of the festive season (I suspect the person who asked had been watching too much Gremlins...) And no, not a hint of trauma in my christmas past. In fact I rather liked christmas as a child. I liked eating all the chocolates and I always got brilliant presents. I liked the fact that my mum could whip up a lego castle between cooking the christmas dinner and making me a cold turkey and stuffing sandwich after the festive showing of Mary Poppins.
I became a bit blase in my teens of course. The presents were still good but i kind of felt I'd done my share of Christmasses. And by then I'd heard enough Roy Wizzard and Mud to last me a lifetime. (Why why why do we have to listen to the same music every year. I hate it all with the single exception of Tori Amos's Midwinter Graces. Good album that. And I heard on the grapevine recently that she is pagan herself? Ill keep you posted....)
But for me the rot really set in during my early twenties. And its no coincidence at all that it coincided with my first job in retail management. Oh the stress! Tons of stock, thousands of customers, staff on holiday, everyone in a bad mood because they are all exhausted from spending too much on presents that nobody really wants. And in retail you take christmas down before the day itself. So there I was at some ungodly hour on xmas eve dismantling my tinselly snow sprayed shop window displays. I was pretty sick of the whole festive thing by the time I even got my first whiff of turkey.
And things got worse when I got into banking. So many customers getting into debt and piling thousands of pounds on their credit cards. No joy or merriment, just a load of people bowing to extreme social pressure and bankrupting themselves to buy a load of tat that will probably clutter up a cupboard somewhere. Somewhere amid the supermarket aisles of relentless unnecessary extravagance the real meaning of christmas appears to have faded away. And greed and gluttony have taken its place. Its sad really when you think about it.
And its a complete myth that christmas makes people happy, it jolly well doesn't. Even wallowing in all the greed and gluttony I see more unhappy people in December than any other time of year. Especially in the current financial climate. Telly adverts encouraging reckless spending, kids wanting a fortune spending on them (do you know a furby costs sixty pounds? SIXTY POUNDS?). And don't get me started on the masochism with brussel sprouts. What kind of country has an annual tradition of cooking the one vegetable that every sane minded person hates? And nobody likes turkey either. Not really. Not if they are honest with themselves. Its dry, bland and boring. Goose is even worse, fatty and tasteless....and so expensive.
But the thing I dislike the most about christmas is the hypocrisy. I could even stomach the tinsel without the hypocrisy. The same people who feel they can live their lives selfishly from January to November suddenly come over all holier than thou the second they get their advent calendar out. And it makes me feel a bit sick. Everything is so falsely cheerily, people suddenly start giving money to charity and helping old ladies across the street. What about the rest of the year you fickle bastards? Is that really the message your Archbish wants to get across? Be a bitch all year but its ok if you're nice in December? As someone who tries to be a decent person ALL year it makes me cross when I see this total u turn in behaviour. I secretly hope they all choke on their turkey. Or at the very least trip over their tinsel!
So all in all, for me its a tacky, stressful, financially awkward and hypocratic time of year. And I may sound like a miserable old bag (actually reading this back I really do sound like a miserable old bag) but tell you what, look me up in January and I'll be cheerful as you like knowing its at least another eight months before I have to encounter another piece of tinsel or hear some has been rock band urging me tunelessly to have a Merry Christmas. Because I didn't and I never intend to....
Cheery January wishes to you all from the Degu Witch!
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1409263 (MeiTeng)
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