I was wondering how many of you actually get around to doing anything but worry through the Holiday’s?
Aunt Ethel’s scarf is too long, Uncle Mary is having an identity crisis. You are practically forced by your boss to attend ‘The office does not want a Christmas party’ party! Your great niece is having mindfulness issues again, and your dysfunctional nephew is stuck in front of the TV watching Christmas B movies from 1pm onwards. So what is so oh, oh, oh, about that?
I love Christmas, okay. We have to get that clear before I go forward with this one, so bear with me.
It’s only becoming clear to me now, after forty-odd Christmases, that I really don’t understand the true meaning of Christmas at all. Oh, I know about the baby Jesus, and born in a manger. The Nativity plays my nephews and nieces starred as back ends of donkeys in taught me to enjoy that. But they grew up, started acting like back ends of donkeys, so I sought solace from the fact that Christmas was not just for children. I had to decide whether Christmas was for me.
Hey, I grew up, too! I can’t deny it. However, I did not stop feeling childlike. I did, though, face the mammoth task of Xmas commercialism. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas began back in July, when I spotted a glass paperweight depicting a fat Santa trying to fit down a chimney at the craft fair, and dominoed into the next four months’ shopping trips looking out for ideas for the rest of my large family. This almost always culminates at the beginning of December with a gathering of inappropriate gifts without any idea of who I bought what for.
I don’t give a monkey’s for Scrooge, except it is my favourite film of all time. Apart from the occasional glance at the Aldi advert where Kevin the carrot is looking for love – again – and I think, yeah, in your dreams Kevin. Have the advertisers got no idea how weird the connotations of a carrot looking for love can appear to an adult single Lesbian? How many of you are screwing up your face right now with a “eeww”?
So the trees, tinsel, lights and commercials have it just before Remembrance Sunday, and it lasts until the last drop of Brexit sales peaks at the end of January. Summary – Christmas now runs from Halloween seamlessly, and disregards our efforts to mark Remembrance Sunday. Sod the Coca-cola Christmas Truck, the Starbuck’s red cups for Christmas, and the odd social media Mince Pie Maverick. If you are anything like me, you have become inured to the hype, disgruntled by the copycat methods of advertising wannabe food magnates’ choice bites you ‘need’ to stuff into your orifice this Christmas. Complimenting the also-rush to be bigger and better at Festive Fun for All the Family. So, you begin to blinker yourself through the whole season, and pick out the best bits, to discard the rest.
This only lasts a while, though, and suddenly at 50 plus you can find yourself on the sofa, cynically biting back your take on the rhetoric, and thinking why do the dummies buy into this crap? Okay, so I didn’t bite my tongue on that one.
Perhaps you are not quite getting there. Perhaps you still have a reason to celebrate the season. But what about those who don’t. I can hear the sanctimonious hyperbolae from here.
“Are there no Old Biddy Christmas Dinner Parties for you to dribble off to?”
“Are there no drop in for drop out centres?”
“Is the Salvation Army not providing for the lonely?”
“So Christmas is about sharing now, is it?”
“Are there no workhouses?” And a complete circle takes us right back to the 1800’s. It’s a Dickens of a Do!
So what is Christmas all about, then? Is it the hype, the social gatherings, the meat and mistletoe? A time for stuffing one’s face, and burying the hatchet into some other sucker at the office? It is none of these things, is it? Where’s the sentiment gone? Are we so reliant on adverts to tell us how to enjoy the season?
It is a time where the person with the calendar forgot the gap between one year and the last. It is a time for reflection, contemplation, and for stopping, thinking and knowing why you are here on this lovely planet God provided for us. Christmas is the one time of year we can wish everyone no ills.
Allow your niece an ear. Permit your nephew a spate of burying his head in a movie instead of the beer he drowns in most of the summer. Let the commercials to go over your head. Accept Uncle Mary for who they want to be. After all, in a hundred years we’ll all be dead!
This Christmas let it be the one time of year you can stop and stare. Heal. Seek faith in wherever crevice you can find it. Find your peace. Worry never got anyone anywhere.
It is no time for contemplating your navel. So stop moping over things you cannot change, falsely setting the bar on things you ‘must’ do before the Smiths, and don’t presume the worst. Get over yourself, and me, by drinking everyone’s health, topping up your glass of kindness.
And to quote yet more Christmas rhetoric – God Bless Us, Everyone!
This is to my last post on here. I am closing down this site. Enjoy a very Merry Christmas, folks, and a Happy New Year.