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Monday, December 04, 2006


Ten more reasons to love and hate Christmas

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The twinkly lights are up in the shops and above the streets (Much improved on last year), and while they were going up we got a big ‘Hands off’ message about the installation vans from Management. Not that I’d be that stupid to try and book one of the installers, they’re doing a job for the town, so let ‘em be. Inconsiderate shoppers who seem to be losing the use of their legs seem to occupy more of my time than anything else.

This year things seem to be looking up this; no politically correct genius has as yet proposed changing the name of Christmas to ‘Winterval’ (Or some such nonsense), or even abolishing the holiday altogether. I mean, the political elite devalue the rights of the individual, ignore democratic opinion and take money off people for ‘honours’, but try to change a much cherished tradition and the howling mob is at the metaphorical gates. More bread and circuses (Sigh).

Seeing as site traffic has picked up again with lots of hits going to my old ’10 reasons to love and hate Christmas’ entry, I thought I’d enlarge on the list a little from last year with yet another list of pet peeves.

First on the list has to be; Actually doing the Christmas shopping. This can be a study in purgatory with the kids in tow, demanding this, wheedling for that so much that the shopping bill ends up treble what you budgeted for. I swear there’s a touch of Magpie in my stepdaughters genetic heritage. Anything sparkly and shiny seems to grab their attention and just has to be bought right this minute. Also the crowds which on weekends can be likened to surfing through a sea of bodies. On the one hand this can be a bloody nuisance; on the other it can be likened to a dangerous sport. Body surfing over real bodies. Hmm, there’s a thought. I suppose all you need is a bit of attitude. Take a run up and leap. Nah, bit too much like hard work, and I do enough of that.

Second; choosing a gift for picky / inconsiderate people. I mean come on, what do you get for the person who has everything and needs nothing? No, “Not a lot” is not the correct answer here. In a household of females, that sort of talk can get you dead, or at least sleeping downstairs with the dog waking you up every hour; and because he’s so excited that his master has come to sleep in the same room as him that he just has to lick your face in greeting every hour, on the hour. Urgh. This is not conducive to a decent nights kip. If I could afford it I’d book into a hotel for a month. If I was religious I’d go into a monastery. Believe you me; taking a vow of poverty at this time of year is no problem at all. Even a vow of silence would not be a burden provided that I had a laptop in my monastic cell, heaven indeed.

Third; having to deal with people who think that because it’s Christmas, and they’re slightly tipsy, everything they say and do is so fucking hilarious; like trying to tell jokes without the faintest idea that they have no sense of comedic timing. Oh yeah, and thinking that because they have put a sprig of Mistletoe in their waistband will result in sexual pleasure from another human wrapping their mouth parts around their less than sanitary genitalia. Yuk! If said behaviour wasn’t so desperately sad such antics would be incredibly deserving of public mockery and derision.

Fourth; Perfume merchandisers. You walk into a department store only to get deluged by a bronchitis inducing cloud of the latest ‘fragrance’ by a lurking merchandiser (often in fancy dress). Worse still, arriving home, reeking of said odour and having to explain the alien scent to ones dear spouse before the mince pies and Christmas pudding take on a high speed horizontal trajectory in your general direction and you make for the nearest open pub.

Fifth; ‘Charity’ muggers. “Yes I agree, wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was no poverty / hatred in the world and no I’m poor myself so I can’t afford even the paltry ten pounds a month that you’re asking me to give every month to feed a starving child in where was it you said, yes and the whales and Dolphins too, isn’t over fishing and whaling wicked? Now fuck off, I’m trying to nick this car parked in a bus stop.”

Sixth; Credit card overload. Now I don’t suffer from this, having carved up all my credit cards over three years ago. If I ain’t got the money, I ain’t gonna buy that sparkly piece of tat. Yes, it’s pretty and I know I haven’t bought anything for that particular cousin for over two years, unfortunately all I can give is my love this Christmas, and if I have to buy affection it ain’t worth the fucking price.

Seventh; “Ho! Ho! Ho!” What is the fat old git in the red suit with the pillow down his front guffawing about? Is he taking the piss, in which case that sleigh is definitely getting a ticket, or is he just a hebephrenic schizophrenic with appalling dress sense and a fetish for Reindeer? None of which have a red nose, even when attacked by rare Arctic fungal diseases, or repeatedly scrubbed with sandpaper.

Eighth; Having to feign pleasure on Christmas day when presented with wholly inappropriate gifts (And no sodding spare batteries Dammit!). The huge burden of faux-guilt because someone has outbid you in the great war of Christmas presents. I’m sure the midwinter solstice / Christmas message is “Peace on earth and goodwill to all men” – not;
“Oh look, the Bailiffs are coming next week dear.”
“Dear God, not more of your bloody relatives”.

Ninth; Having to deal with Christmas shoppers who think that ‘because it’s Christmas’ they suddenly don’t have to walk anywhere. The insistence on everyone in our department having a Christmas meal together (If you’d met most of them this is not a very salubrious prospect). Then being accused of being a ‘Scrooge’ because you aren’t going to play at ‘Secret Santa’. Please God, I don’t want to do this any more.

Tenth; Seeing obviously well to do shoppers out on the street with ‘lost’ eyes as they dread the enforced loneliness of the festering season. Their vacant, helpless expressions indicative of people who feel their social lives slipping into the black hole of solitude whilst all their social circle traipse back to see family they’ve spent the rest of the year trying to avoid. You can almost read the seasonal despair in the lonely shoppers minds. A small prayer tries to spring from your heart; Mother Mary pity the rich and lonely, they are truly in poverty. It is often tripped up by a cynical “serve the greedy sods right” thought before it can reach the vocal cords when I see how they’ve parked. Such is the human condition.

Now things I do like about the festering season include; It’s my day off (Yay!). Getting out early to enjoy the Christmas silence first thing in the morning while I walk my dog. Taking my time to cook Christmas Lunch and being able to kick everyone out of the kitchen whilst I guzzle half a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon while enjoying a few choice sounds on my MP3 player; Mince Pies, Mulled Red Wine, sleeping through the Queens speech (Sorry your Majesty, but it’s a repeat anyway); Scented candles, and letting the stepdaughters push off to annoy their dad around tea time. Other pleasures include; leaving the TV off and cuddling up to Mrs S while we read the books we’ve given each other, wrapping myself around a couple of wee drams of single malt whiskey, safe in the knowledge that I’ve set up a cold collation with pickles for tomorrow and I don’t have to fuss about cooking for anyone.

This may not sound much ‘fun’ to you, but I’ve done all the other stuff and you can keep it. Unless I’m in a warmer country of course, in which case pass me the sun block chum, and I hope the champagne and dark chocolate is properly chilled for once. Now where are my new sunglasses?

Happy festering season, and may, in the words of the late great Dave Allen, “Goodnight. Thank you, and may your God go with you.”


Anonymous Kyle Sterry said...

Tsks. You should have listed 12, not 10 reasons, so it's more lovely and jubbly Christmassy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 12:06:00 am  
Blogger cathrina said...

lol..its really a good blog to browse through.. ya ya..leap over the ocean of people.. christmas is fun..its full of joy..and come on..a good budget and a will powered mind can work wonderers..

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 5:15:00 am  
Blogger Sean Carter said...

I loved reading that. You have a really cool blog. You can also check out this amazing Holiday Blog for some unique and interesting gift ideas.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 12:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny seeing the Winterval urban myth still being bandied around nearly 10 years later, despite the Wikipedia article you link to clearly stating it was never a replacement for Christmas. Just a name for the Oct-Jan winter fesitval period.

Monday, December 11, 2006 2:17:00 pm  

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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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