Remember when Christmas wasn’t all about advertising and trying to get people to buy as much as possible, as soon as possible? No, me neither… For as long as I’ve had enough bitterness in me to criticise the system, Christmas has started about two months too early, so that when we finally get to Christmas day I feel like I’m so sick of it I could vomit tinsel.
I knew that as soon as Halloween was done and dusted, the skanky outfits in the shops would be replaced by anything that contains reindeer, penguins, Santa’s face and the vast array of all things Christmas. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a lazy, merry Christmas day as much as the next person. What makes me a bitter Grinch is when Christmas starts in November!
I understand people’s excitement. I get why such a happy time would make you want to start it early and whip out that Michael Buble Christmas carols CD. But, please don’t! For me and many people out there Christmas starts on the 24th. Until then I am still trapped in my daily existential dread. As a result, the neighbours’ early Christmas songs will only serve as an encouragement for me to blast the heaviest metal I own and all the Christmas decorations in the shops are just encouraging me to make a dick out of the baubles on my way to the crisps aisle. And again, it is not because I am joyless and bitter- I mean, I am joyless and bitter, but in this particular context it is not about that. It is because, when Christmas starts too early, the actual Christmas day loses its novelty. By the time it’s actually Christmas and I am with my family, feeling warm and cosy and even capable of nurturing some sort of love for aunty Ruth- even though she smells and criticises my fashion choices, I just want it to be over. Because I feel like I’ve had enough Christmas pudding just by looking at it on the TESCO shelves for the past month.
Here is a scenario that will help you understand all of us Grinches out there:
It is Christmas Eve. You’re finally off work. Yes, the past month has been hectic, because everyone gets mental over Christmas, but at least the extra hours at work will cover your presents. You’re packed with things for everyone in your family and you’re finally gonna see your mum and dad and you’re happy because you haven’t seen them in such a long time. You even feel like you could tolerate smelly aunty Ruth as longs as she doesn’t criticise your fashion choices. When you get home, you realise that your parents have whipped out the Easter decorations just to get ahead. “But mum, what is this all about?!” You ask in horror. “Oh well, we thought we’d go ahead with the Easter decorations. It will give us more time to celebrate it and get all Eastery”.
This is what this whole Christmas madness feels like for us. And yes, it is partly because we’re bitter. And we’re not prepared to stop being bitter before the great Christmas day. No amount of Penney’s Christmassy pyjamas are going to change that. But it is also because, starting Christmas a month earlier makes as much sense as putting up the Easter decoration on New Year’s or wearing lacy Ann Summer’s lingerie for Christmas Eve, just to be prepared for Valentine’s day. It is much nicer to look forward to a day when you can live the whole joy of Christmas more intensely and cherish it more because you know that it won’t last long. It is also much more satisfying than overdosing on Christmas decorations for a whole month and giving yourself anxiety over buying a present for each member of the family every week of November. At the end of it Christmas won’t feel like the ultimate reward after completing a game of obstacles, but more like that nice glass of wine you get to have at the end of the work day, on a Friday.
So this year, try the alternative! Wait until it is Christmas to be Christmassy. Don’t fall for this consumerist trap that is only designed to get you to spend more money, don’t put your Christmas tree up for a while (if you haven’t already, and if you have, well I suppose just throw a blanket over it for the next couple of weeks) and, for the love of God, stop posting those bullshit memes on Facebook saying that there are only 5 Mondays, 31 sleeps and 5000 shits to take until Christmas.
Make it about the things that matter: spending precious time with family, relaxing, and eating the entire contents of your family’s fridge. But most importantly, in the true spirit of Christmas, understand your Grinch brothers and sisters out there! Don’t throw mince pies in our bitter faces and don’t try to cover our dark thoughts with your loud Christmas carols. Just be sympathetic and move along with your Christmas-themed cup of gingerbread latte.