Ten reasons to Hate Xmas

The festival itself I have no quarrel with; good old hijacked midwinter solstice feast that it is. A time of good food, wine and forgiveness to celebrate surviving another year. Good will to all men? Within reason, of course. What turns my normal sunny disposition to that of lemon sucking misanthrope is the insistence that everyone has to join in the ‘fun’; when ‘fun’ entails overheated rooms, fake jollity, fake sentimentality, naff decorations, too much rich food (and if it is so very nice why do we only only eat it at Xmas ?) and an enforced consumerist experience.

With this in mind I have compiled ten major issues about Christmas which every year threaten to turn Mr Nice Guy (Me) into a raging homicidal psychopath who’s just got his chainsaw out of the shed for a little pre-festive sharpening.

First; Date. The date and the association with Christianity is incorrect. 25th December is the wrong date for Christians to celebrate Christmas. It’s an historical fudge, a compromise between 6th December, 19th December, 22nd December, 7th January or 25th January depending upon which Christian / Pagan sect you belong to. As for the year, if you’re a Christian, about as close as you’ll get is six years either side of 0 AD; and that’s just from official sources. And let’s face it, today’s modern Christmas has next to NO connection to a religious festival of any description, just an orgy of materialistic consumption.

Second; Presents and shopping. This asinine insistence that you have to drive yourself into near bankruptcy giving overpriced, unwanted gifts to everyone you know. This may sound like heresy and probably is; but I would rather have no gifts at all than a gift without a genuine kind thought behind it. You know the ones: the novelty toy, the novelty tie; novelty jumper; you get the gist. The shopping experience is my idea of hell. Overpriced car parks where you can’t find a parking bay, followed by overheated shops with crowded displays of tat, hordes of extras from the zombie apocalypse crowding the aisles, endless muzak and a total absence of quality products. Sorry, did virtually all my present shopping online, and have done for years, and actively avoid towns and city centres because of these horrendous experiences.

Third; Enforced jollity. There is no greater torture to a civilised mind than forcing someone to enjoy themselves whether they want to or not. I am quite capable of being happy without outside interference thank you very much. My major dread is that in the near future the Thought Police will deem it a crime not to be smiling and joyful at mandatory times and places. Perhaps this will be something else to be handed an ‘On the spot’ £60 fixed whizzer from your local Community Support Officer (Or heaven forfend, me.). The only enjoyment I’ll get is by loading up a shotgun, and firing at Rudolph and his friends so i can get some nice venison to eat.

Fourth; Inappropriate headgear. The wearing of fluorescent antlers, tinsel and artificial fur bobbled conical hats three sizes too small, not to mention those jesters style confections made of poor quality red, yellow and green felt with bells on. Apparently there’s some strange, arcane folk belief that wearing such headgear actually makes everything you say and do amusing. Yes I’m thinking of all the retailers forcing their staff to look like idiots for the best part of a month. It doesn’t make me want to spend any extra money, in fact it makes me want to avoid those stores and treat those brands with utter contempt. Strangely enough, recent research has proven conclusively that the majority of people voluntarily donning such headgear instantly turn into annoying pillocks. Forcing your dog to wear any such item should instantly engender an instant charge of animal cruelty punishable by thirty strokes of the cat (A bad tempered semi-feral Tom cat brought in specially, for preference and I have several available at a reasonable price).

Fifth; Alcohol. Actually this is a bit of a moot point. I am greatly in favour of some forms of alcohol as it is a great social lubricant (I said SOCIAL. Honestly, some people.). A good pint, bottle of wine, or warming Single Malt in good company is wonderfully relaxing. Sometimes I can be very friendly with an entire bottle of whiskey all to myself. This is something anyone can do anywhere. Sometimes its nice to hide in the cellar with a good book, headphones on and some rock music blasting any potentially festive thoughts from my seasonally stressed synapses. Be warned; if you’re not used to it then excessive consumption not only damages your liver and wallet but also turns you into another slobbering maudlin festive idiot.

Sixth; Office / work related parties. Or as Oscar Wilde might have said had he ever been to one, ‘The unattainable attended by the unlovable’. Watching what you drink in case you say exactly what you feel about your boss or an influential colleague; no matter how incompetent / unpleasant / overbearing they might be. I hate such events and whenever invited to ‘socialise’ in this fashion with workmates make a creative and plausible excuse not to be there. Ones I’ve found that work very well are; Previous engagement with family, as far from the event as possible; feigned illness; faked domestic emergency requiring your urgent presence at home – all of these are good. One cautionary note, use a different excuse every year or be labelled ‘Anti Christmas’ and find all those more important invitations disappear.

Seventh; Christmas lunch. One size does not fit all. I’ve maintained a consistent line for the last 25+ years I don’t like roast parsnips, sprouts (Satan’s testicles), xmas pud, xmas cake and other assorted sweetmeats. Every year its the same – an apparent surprise at my preference to not eat them (the worst year was when I got phoned at 10am and asked if I happened to have any sprouts I could bring…as the hosts couldn’t find any. So I either leave nauseated or starved. Great. Last Xmas was spent on the beach with a portable BBQ that half cooked a burger, and that was fine. The late Queen In Yellow and I served up non Turkey based meals that were in keeping with Xmas and managed to keep all but the Turkey Twizzler generation happy (though my joke about eating Bambi did fall flat with them).

Eighth; Christmas Television. Especially those vomit inducing specials punctuated by saccharine adverts. The endless TV repeats of Christmas specials of ‘Only Fools and Doctor Who’, and what’s going on in Emmerdale Enders. ‘The Sound of Music’ again. ‘Celebrity’ Christmas specials. Thank God for DVD’s. I don’t even watch TV anymore, so I’m really not interested in a semi-comatose few hours in front of a programme that I don’t like in an overheated room.

Ninth; Christmas Number Ones. All of them. Especially (In no particular order) Slade’s ‘So here it is Merry Christmas’, Band Aid’s ‘Do they know it’s Christmas time’ and Aled Jones ‘Walking in the air’. When you’ve heard them sung endlesly in every shop you ever visit for a month you never want to hear them even again no matter how much they might have been good. I pity the poor retail staff that have to listen to the wall of Xmas muzak for hours on end.

Tenth; Carol Singers. Not proper Carol Singers like in church choirs, they’re very pleasant and always welcome. I’m talking about the avaricious little sods who turn up on your doorstep for a quick bit of extortion a month before the official date. I think we’re all familiar with them; expecting you to give them money for an abysmal one chorus rendition of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ when half of them don’t know the words and the other half are miming. I make a point of making my long dark drive as welcoming as a trip up to the Bates’ family home. (This also goes for Tick or Treaters another loathsome group of slime balls)

The above list is nowhere near definitive as I’m sure many of you can come up with your own reasons for wanting to spend your midwinter holiday overseas or locked away in a survivalist shelter.

Feel free to add your ideas of how to avoid the conventional and come up with an Xmas that is actually enjoyable, genuine, and or different.

2 Responses to Ten reasons to Hate Xmas

  1. deadagain says:

    Oh go on, get into the spirit of things!

    • And this on the day my God-Daughter recited her prayers from her school book to me, which included:

      “Dear God, Thank you for giving us Halloween, Amen”

      I feel some more mythos inspired postings coming on fort the seasonal period. 😉

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