The old saying goes that there’s nothing as certain as death and taxes. In the modern western world, I think we can add Christmas to that list too. Once you hit October it consumes pretty much everything going forward from there. Weeks and weeks of preparation for one day.
As a child, I loved Christmas. Then I got older and realised how crap it actually was. Now I’m a dad with a son who has started to understand Christmas a bit and I love it again. Like, I’m really excited for it. I can’t wait to see my little man’s face when he wakes on Christmas morning and realises that Father Christmas really has paid a visit.
I don’t care what anyone says; Christmas is for kids. The religious roots of the festival are so far down the list of importance nowadays. They don’t exist at all for me. For me, it might as well be called Winter Gift Giving Day as that’s chiefly what it’s all about. All power to those who make the effort to visit church on Christmas day and pay their respects to JC, the most famous magician of all time. At the end of the day, the birth of the Son of God is what it’s all about. It’s just that most people don’t really care about that anymore.
This time of the year is absolutely mental with shoppers milling around, the traffic always horrendous, the weather on a downward turn, and constantly trying to find out what people want as a gift from you. Every year is the same. We all know it’s coming, yet we’re still rushing around like whippets with bums full of dynamite.
There’s a lot to like about Christmas. There’s also a lot to despise. I’m going to use this space that I pay good money for to bring you the five things I hate the most about this time of year. Here goes:
I have never and will never understand the obsession people have with Christmas Dinners. They’re drab, dreary, and arguably the worst part about Christmas Day. Turkey is about the most overrated meat on the planet. Sprouts are frigging vile. Cranberry sauce… just fuck off! Parsnips as well. Does anyone actually like parsnips? Why do we eat these godawful things just because it’s Christmas? I’m hoping that, this year, I’ll escape this annoying tradition and get to eat something I actually like for my dinner. Lasagne maybe. Or chilli con carne. Mmmmm, chilli con carne…
It kills me inside when I hear people say “Christmas definitely began today because I saw the Coca-Cola advert on TV”. You walk around and all you see is advertising everywhere urging you to dip your hands into your pockets to prove to someone you care about that you really do care by way of an expensive gift. The corporations absolutely love this time of the year because they know gullible idiots will buy their overpriced crap. They own Christmas. It’s all about making people spend money to increase their profit margins. It’s all about dragging their underpaid minions in to work extra hours and peddle the crap they desperately want to offload onto Joe and Jane Public. Commercialism has completely torn the soul out of Christmas. It’s the reason I started hating this time of year after my childhood came to an end.
Parents dragging their kids to the pub
If there’s one thing that make me seethe with anger on Christmas Day it’s when parents take their kids to the pub. I cannot think of anything more inappropriate and selfish! I’ve been told by some that I’m a little harsh in this belief; that some people really didn’t mind being taken to the pub in their youth as it broke the day up, they got to see family, it gave their parents a bit of time to enjoy themselves, etc. I’m afraid I simply refuse to yield on this one. Parents should not be taking their kids to the pub on Christmas Day for any reason, especially not the third of the reasons listed above. If you, as a parent, simply must have a drink then get some bloody beers in and drink in the house. Meeting family? Go to their house! Break the day up? Shut up! No kid wants their day breaking up. They’ve just got a whole bunch of new stuff; why on earth would they want to be separated from it for any length of time? Kids in the pub is a massive no-no for me and I reserve my right to shoot disapproving glances at all parents who do it. If you’re reading this and you are one of these parents, I literally don’t give a rat’s ballbag whether you’re offended! You offend me!
“All the best!”
From about a week into January right up to the start of December, most folk won’t acknowledge you in any way. Even half of the people in customer facing roles won’t say thank you or goodbye. So, why is it that when December kicks in people suddenly have this overwhelming urge to say “All the best”? What’s changed? Why is it that people who have been rude and obnoxious all year feel the need to utter those three words just because it’s Christmas/New Year? If you’re going to be an arsehole then, for God’s sake, be consistent with it. Don’t start being all neighbourly just because of what time of year it is. And don’t lie either. You don’t wish the best for me, so don’t bother saying it just because you think you should. I could happily throat punch people who say “All the best”.
‘Mary’s Boy Child’ by Boney M
There are many, many, many awful Christmas songs. They get wheeled out every single year to perforate our ear drums and stick in our brains to play over and over repeatedly. Choosing my least favourite Christmas song isn’t easy, but I think the winner is just about this one. It is truly disgusting! As a fan of disco music, you’d think Boney M would be up my street. They aren’t. I think they were woeful. None of their songs were quite as woeful as ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ though. Even cheese itself listens to this and complains it’s too cheesy. I hate the fact that I will never escape this song. Every single year it finds me one way or another, whether it be while I’m out shopping, having a beer, watching TV… anything bar hibernating in the basement. Even then it’d probably still find its way down there just to torture me. I hate this song! I damn Christmas because the song never would have been made if not for this particular festival!
There you have it; five things I hate about Christmas. This year, I’d like to ignore the things I don’t like and concentrate on watching Caellum enjoy himself. That alone will be enough to make me push all the bad things out of mind. This, after all, is about him as far as I’m concerned. I want to make his Christmases as magical as mine were when I was a child.