Well, I know there are many irritating things about Christmas… the expense, the cold, the god awful Christmas songs which play in every shop you enter from mid October onward, the bustling with millions of other shoppers begrudgingly buying stuff for people with the knowledge that not only would you rather spend the money on yourself, but whatever you’re purchasing will be half price in the sales in a week anyway. Aside from that, there’s the decorating, the enforced cheer, without which you are immediately accused of being a scrooge, the drunken shame following office Christmas parties, the social minefield of phrasing countless Christmas cards to people you don’t know (and often don’t like) in an acceptable manner, the prospect of spending an entire two or three days with your while family and trying to look happy about it, the cooking, the washing up after the cooking, the guilt at having out on half a stone after too many mince pies and Baileys, the guilt over the knowledge that you’ll swear to go to the gym in January to work it off, but will do no such thing, the guilt over the fact that you shouldn’t be feeling any of the above… the list goes on. However, I’m going to look to the positive. Play devils advocate, be the perpetrator of all things ‘in the spirit’- bearer of glad tidings and all that. Get ready people. Spirituality, economic sense and cynicism aside, here are all the things that are great about Christmas!
1. Acting like a child.
It is very rare in adult life that you get the opportunity to leap about, get openly excited without the fear that whatever it is you’re exited about (I’m thinking all the usual suspects here: promotions, bonuses, first dates going well, etc.) is not going to come about. Christmas, whether you like it or not, comes every year, so you may as well get into it. After all, your partner may buy you what you actually wanted this year, rather than a scarf/a blender/some socks.
2. Getting in the festive spirit.
And by festive spirit, I mean gin, rum, vodka, whisky… basically, whatever you fancy. Mulled wine is my particular favourite Christmas perk. But the festive spirit means you can drink too much, too often, and at a push, at whatever time of day you like. Wine at lunch? Champagne breakfast (on the day of course)? Mulled cider on your way home? Baileys in front of the telly when you get home? Port with some tasty cheese? Ah, go on, get in the festive spirit.
3. Getting away with stuff.
By this I mean playing the festive guilt card to get other people to do things for you. ‘Can I leave early today?’ ‘Shall we get dessert?’ ‘Can I borrow a tenner?’ All of these things can be agreed to, simply by adding the suffix ‘come on, it’s Christmas’. Thereby, even if whoever you are speaking to doesn’t really want to agree to whatever you’ve proposed, they know they will look like a miserly sod if they do not comply. Ha. Gotcha.
4. Twinkly lights.
Now, even if you hate Christmas, you have to admit, December is bloody miserable. You get up in the dark, you come home in the dark, it’s cold and it rains every other day. You have to arrive in work wearing twenty three layers of clothing, and race to get them off once you get into the heated office before you sweat like a pig and smell awful for the rest of the day. The world is either grey or black. Lots of people suffer from seasonal affective disorder in the winter months, and just think how much worse it would be without Christmas lights! There’s nothing nicer than getting home into the warm, and putting the tree lights on while you watch telly. It’s like a big Christmas hug. The wet freezing streets in town look much less ominous when the overhead twinklies are reflected in the rainy tarmac and you can’t see the drab December sky because of the multicoloured, star and snowflake shaped loveliness above your head. I know they’re tacky and they’re no good for the old carbon footprint, but the alternative, i.e. plan old gloomy December, is much worse.
5. Old friends.
Now this is closely linked with points one and two. Never is there a time of year when more old friends are in the same place at any one time. They all head homeward, they’re all happy to be off work. And the lot of you are more than ready to get into the festive spirit(s). And you’re all in the frame of mind that it’s perfectly acceptable act like children. At no other time of year can you meet old friends without a slight nervousness – what should you say? Are their lives going better than yours? Do you have the same things in common as you used to? Will there be awkward pauses in conversation? Should you meet for a nice lunch somewhere? Etc etc. However, at Christmas those concerns are put on the backburner. The whole mad bunch of you can meet in whatever dive of a pub you used frequent in your youth. You’re all in the mood to act like irresponsible kids, and by the second mulled wine, you’re all wrapped in tinsel, and the awkward conversational pauses were a hazy forethought. Just for one evening, it’s like you’re kids again, and everyone is simply happy to see everyone else. To be drunk and silly, to gossip and dance like twats, to forget all the money you’ve spent, the jobs you have, the worries at home, and to relive your teens. The fun, not the angst-ridden parts that is.
So there, you Christmas doubters, you scrooges and humbugs. Ignore the lack of cash, the fact that it’s often more capitalism than Christ nowadays. Yes you’ll be fat and poor and the twinkly lights will be gone come January, but sod all that, there’s lots of fun to be had in the mean time. It’s only two weeks away now… quick! Get in the festive spirit! And shout along with good old Noddy Holder! It’s Chriiistmas!