Silas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And A Merry Xmas To All Of You. Except You.

I may have mentioned this before, but I dislike Xmas a great deal. There's no trigger that I can recall. Never had someone die on Xmas day, never had a relationship fail then, no big fall out with relatives over tinsel arrangements; but I have never truly enjoyed Xmas since I was about three or four.

As you may have guessed, I'm not a religious man, so I don't celebrate December 25th as Jesus's birthday. And come on, if he was born then, why wasn't he called Noel or Chris? Now as I don't believe in God, I don't ever recall believing in Santa Claus either. Didn't believe the big lie, didn't believe the small one. Found it quite perplexing that children my age would queue to sit on an old man's knee and pay for a present that they didn't want. You want a decent present for sitting on an old man's knee? Go visit a paedophile. You don't pay, you get free stuff and you have enough to blackmail the bastard for the rest of his life.

Any way, I digress. Xmas. Presents are my main problem. You are obliged to get a present for people you are related to. This can be tricky. Particularly for parents as they seem to have everything they need when you're a kid, and your spending power is derived entirely from the pocket money they give you. Essentially they're paying you to buy them something they neither need nor want, and then pretend to be pleased with it.

In return, they then have to lavish you with gifts that you have to like. They've spent their hard earned cash on you, best you look grateful or your Xmas dinner is likely to have been licked by the dog before it gets to you. Plus, you're a kid and they're not. They will buy you something they think you'll like, rather than what you think you want. You wanted a Barbie, they get you a Sandy. You wanted a skateboard, they bought you rollerskates. Close, sadly no cigar this time, but do play again next year.

And why just at Xmas? If they can't afford to buy you something at Xmas, and have to get credit, why buy it then? You see something in August you think I'll like? Buy it and give it to me then. I'll do the same and we'll know all year round that we like each other. Don't try to work out in October what I might like 8 weeks later. I may have realised by then that my coordination and balance aren't good enough for a hula hoop. I'm 8, my interests change on a minute by minute basis.

Then we won't have to pay the hideous prices at Xmas and secretly compare how much your gift cost versus how much the one you recieved is worth. You could even just do it a couple of weeks later and buy all your presents in the sales. Crackers are unbelievably cheap then. And turkey? Practically giving it away.

Cards from people you don't hear from all year. Then they stop coming and you assume they've died. And two years later, remember that you haven't told them that you'd moved house. Cards from people you've never heard of, who, it turns out, your parents once met on holiday and vowed to keep in touch with. And the wonderful cards with signatures you can't read and no return address, which may not even be for you anyway. All these cards need displaying and again, compare how many you sent to how many you receive (your parents version of the followers:following ratio on Twitter).

The meal that takes two days to prepare and every pan in your house to cook it. It's never going to be as good as it is on Boxing Day when it's simply been re-heated, parts of it will be cold, and the burning holly on the Xmas pudding sets fire to the paper hat your grandmother is wearing. There are arguments about how to carve the roast, who gets first shot at the potatoes and why is it always me doing the washing up? And just how long after the mother of all lunches can you force down a sandwich and a slice of cake?

Is it acceptable to start drinking when you wake up? Or should you wait until you're out of bed? If Bucks Fizz is okay on Xmas Day why isn't a Bloody Mary fine on a Tuesday morning? Should you raise a toast to the Queen's speech or play drinking games based on how often she says "My husband and I" and throws in random bits of Latin? At what point during the Bond film will my mother deny ever having seen it and insist that next year "we're not doing anything for Xmas"?

I have had a quiet Xmas: frozen pizza for one and a Kylie DVD does not make the festive period particularly enjoyable. I've had lavish Xmases and spent the entire time fretting about how much of the food was going to end up getting thrown away. I've also had Xmases where I went to other people's houses and had to do Xmas their way. If you think your family have weird traditions, wait until you experience other people's.

You open one present on Xmas Eve and then save the rest until after lunch on Xmas Day? You are a freak. You have to wear all the clothes you get at once? Buffoons. It is compulsory that everyone takes part in your charades game is it? Guess what I'm miming, that's right, wanker. We have to go for a walk to burn off the calories from lunch? Well I fed the burned offerings you gave me to the dog, so I'll just stay here and eat this tin of Quality Street if that's okay. No drinking til Noon? I am leaving now and will never talk to you again.

This year, due to work commitments, our "family" will be celebrating Xmas on Dec 29th. If you're having yours on Dec 25th, have fun and remember when you have someone crying, someone angry and someone snoring, while you're making a resolution to not do anything next year, you're having the traditional Xmas.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm playing a drinking game right now. Every time you mention a haggard, hoary old Christmas cliche that isn't actually true and really hasn't been since even before Bobby Davro was considered the height of entertainment, I take a drink. I'm on my 3rd bottle of scotch now, and can't feel my face. Merry Christmas.

14:54  
Anonymous Ken said...

Of course, Anonymous, you could just man the fuck up and name one. But no...you'll just carry on sniping from behind cover.

Good read, Silas. But do cheer up, old bean ;)

18:12  
Blogger silas said...

Dear Anonymous, glad to help in the pursuit of drunkeness. Did you ever work for me? Are you my bitch? Can I feel your face? How's Watford?

Ken, I can cheer up now, I had an hour long "interview" with the DWP about how I should look for work in a field other than IT, despite me having 14 years experience in that area.

19:08  
Blogger Janey B said...

I always had a good Xmas with you. I enjoy your company, and we never had any expectations or forced ourselves to be happy. We got pissed, ate a lot, watched some TV, had a chitchat etc. etc. It was great :D

STFU Anonymous troll.

22:20  

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