Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Twenty-Second Day of Advent

- December 22nd -

Five things that people say about Christmas that I really hate…

Christmas isn’t the same anymore - What they really mean is that they’ve become so cynical and joyless that they find it extremely difficult to have fun anymore, and blaming Christmas is much easier than actually having to face their own shortcomings.

Christmas is too commercial nowadays - What utter nonsense. How can the way you choose to celebrate a holiday be *too* anything, unless you want it to be? What they’re doing out there in the high street has absolutely no bearing (or shouldn’t have any bearing) on what’s going on inside your own home come the 25th of December. For heaven’s sake you have a mind inside your head, and your own free will; if you don’t like how the big chain stores are marketing their own particular brand of the festive season then ignore it. Walk on by. If you don’t like all the Christmas adverts on television, watch the two BBC channels, or switch off.

Christmas is only really for the kids - From where I’m sitting Christmas is about many things; meeting up with friends for drinks, having family round, eating until you’re fit to bursting, exchanging and receiving presents, watching Christmas telly, throwing huge parties - the list is practically endless and by no means ‘just for kids’. I mean, apart from the presents, the Father Christmas myth and the being off school for a couple of weeks, Christmas very definitely isn’t ‘just for kids’. Again, it’s linked to certain adults inability (or rather a feeling of acute self-consciousness) when it comes to actually having some fun or not taking things so damned seriously for a few days.

I don’t enjoy Christmas because I can’t do what I want to - Again, utter nonsense. A lot of people feel like they’re ‘trapped’ into set patterns or ‘traditions’ when it comes to Christmas (seeing friends and family, having to cook all the food and wash up afterwards, etc), but this just isn’t so. I’m a great believer in Dickens’ sentiment about ‘keeping Christmas in your own way’. Do the things that will make you happy at Christmas, rather than what you think will make other people happy. If you don’t want people around on Christmas Day, then tell them so. In most cases they’ll actually be fine with it! If you don’t want to cook, then buy in ready made food - or prepare the food in the days running up to Christmas. You’ll be surprised at how many other people will be happy to break their traditions too.

Christmas has lost its meaning now, its only about the shops making a profit - Reality check for you…it has *always* been about making profit, even a hundred years ago! But even if it is, what difference does it make? As I said above, what they’re doing out there on the high street doesn’t *have* to effect your own Christmas. OK, so a lot of parents feel pressured into buying lots of big expensive toys for their children but this isn’t the fault of the retailers, but more a problem with society. Turning our frustrations upon the shops because we feel compelled to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ is a waste of both time and effort. Again it’s a case of certain individuals blaming innocent parties in order to ignore our own shortcomings.

Here endeth the Christmas rant.

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