It’s the 1st of December, folks and you know what that means. The countdown has officially begun!
Having said that, my countdown started a wee while ago. We put the tree up last weekend, we went to an incredible, local Christmas market, we’ve worked our way through the first few DVDs on the Christmas movie shelf (oh yes, I have a whole shelf) and we’ve eaten that many mince pies that my last shite was shortcrust.
Of course, I understand that some of you aren’t quite as nutty about Noël as I am. You’re tired of the over-commercialisation, you’re exhausted by the stresses and strains of preparing for the big, family celebration or you’re just allergic to dates. That’s fair enough. You know what’s NOT fair enough? Telling me not to enjoy Christmas because you’re a miserable bastard.
Actually, no. It’s fine. Moan and piss and whine and whinge all you like. If that’s part of your holiday tradition, then fill your boots, i’ll stick to warming my chestnuts in front of the Birchwood Log Fire on Netflix.
All I ask is that when I tell you that I love Christmas, that i’ve been looking forward to it all year and that given the current tattered mess that is my mind, I am really in need of some holly, jolly times, you have the decency to grudgingly mutter “each to their own” and go about your business of shitting all over someone else’s good times. Whatever, I guess.
I think what makes me sad is that sometimes it seems that people don’t enjoy Christmas because they’re doing it wrong, to be honest. Take this over-commercialised business, for example. We live in a consumer driven society and Christmas has, admittedly, become a big part of that. Doesn’t make it a bad thing though, does it? We all like stuff and at Christmas we can give and get stuff. Stuff is fun.
Doesn’t have to be that way, though. I was up until 5am for the past two nights hand drawing and colouring and cutting out 24 little Christmas parcels and 24 baubles. I wrote a bunch of fun activities on the parcels and little love notes and treats on the baubles, then I blu-taced them up on the wall for Marital Unit and the Child Units to discover this morning. Quick, easy advent calendar that would have Kirsty Allsop shitting herself with envy and it cost the price of four or five sheets of card.
We watch old Christmas movies, cuddle up on the couch and drink hot chocolate. We draw Christmas pictures together and put them up as a window display in the lounge. We drive through town to see all of the Christmas lights, not just the display put on by the town itself but the lights in the houses. It’s old fashioned fun and it’s like a soothing balm for the soul, assuming you believe that you’ve got one. I sold mine for a beer about 14 years ago, but if I hadn’t of done that, it would be soothed.
We do hit the shops, though. Marital Unit and I spent an entire day being pushed and shoved around a shopping centre a few weeks back, to hunt down gifts and grab little treats and oddities which make Christmas a bit more special. We’re not rolling in cash, but if we can spoil the kids a little, we will. We also work hard to make our children understand time spent with family is the best thing about Christmas and that whatever gift you get is wonderful, whether it’s an expensive gadget or a box of sweeties.
They believe it, too. Last year the kids got tablets from Santa. They were thrilled, of course. They were just as thrilled with getting a pair of fluffy, Rudolph socks each.
As for stress, yeah. Yup, can’t argue that. There’s tons to do, between shopping (again, if you do any) and cooking and cleaning and oh wait bugger me it’s not that different to any other day. Seriously, stress is always there, gnawing at you. That’s my life, anyway. It’s amazing though, that come Christmas morning when the Child Units see the crumbs left behind by Santa (sloppy eater, might leave out a bib this year) and we tuck into our traditional breakfast (croissants. What? I’m allowed SOME luxuries in life) and then yes, we open pressies…it’s worth it. We laugh together, play with their toys, listen to Christmas songs while we get ready to go visit family and if theirs snow then you can bet your frozen ass that we’ll be building a snowman and we’ll take a nauseatingly adorable Christmas photo where we’re posing with him like he’s a real person.
Ah whatever, folks. I’m not arsed how you do or don’t do Christmas. I just hate to see people being miserable when it seems like they might enjoy themselves if they removed the industrial size stick from their puckered anus. Not my lookout, though. As Scrooge said, “keep Christmas in your own way and let me keep it in mine” and we’ll all get along like a snow-covered, country cottage on fire.
Merry fucking Christmas.