Yes, I know we’re barely into November but we have to rid ourselves of those outmoded concepts such as Christmas at Christmastime. PC World’s website has been in the Christmas spirit (baubles) for the last week and my local Wilkinsons have been there for the past two months. I’m already risking strangulation from the low-hanging decorations, asphyxiation from the fumes coming off the newly-moulded plastic toys just in from mainland China, plus I risk a battering should I vent any of my anti-Christmas sentiment around the gleeful grease-haired mothers already stocking up on the cheaply tattooed chocolate snowmen.
Christmas this year began back in late September, the first time Christmas has come so early. I think it has something to do with the traditional Christian calendar which this year saw the Feast of St Argoscard fall on a Sunday with a full moon which brings Christmas a whole two months earlier than normal.
The problem is that not many people understand the real meaning of Christmas: the two months of quasi-CIA brainwashing as the TV feeds us lifestyles that don’t quite match our reality. Like some great celestial switch has just been flicked by God’s grubby thumb, the adverts suddenly changed overnight. Every one involves some daytime TV skirt flouncing down a snowy road with large gaudy bags hanging from her flimsy wrists. Then she spots her TV hubby non-entity waving from a window where he’s hanging Santa’s bollocks from his plastic pine. Then they kiss under mistletoe whist supping glasses of rum. Cue the shots of the steaming Christmas pudding covered in white sauce which makes me feel ill every time I see it. Then they roll out Grandpa to sit laughing as they open presents. Dad’s been bought a power drill which I always find remarkable that he doesn’t use to bore into his own skull. And oh look! He’s bought Mom some sexy lingerie! She winks, he smiles, Grandpa looks puzzled as the kids look delighted by their new £600 iPads…
Then it’s the message: ‘Christmas is perfect when it’s done with XXX’. For XXX insert your high street chain of choice. Or leave it as it is if you enjoy your Christmas racy, perhaps with strippers wearing sleighbells…
But who am I kidding? I might be sick of Christmas already but the majority of people are just getting started. I’m probably alone in fearing the next two months of having to tell friends and family that I really don’t want anything and that I want to be left alone. I don’t want to stop writing and drawing over Christmas because I love writing and drawing. Thankfully, I don’t have the kind of job that in previous years meant a dreadful Christmas ‘do’: sitting in some grim restaurant pushing inedible Greek food around my plate because I know it would set off my food allergy. At least I don’t have to sit watching humourless people slowly descend into drunkenness with all the jovial fun that involves.
Those sodding Samaritan messages that ruin the TV over Christmas have it all wrong. It’s not the people alone at Christmas that I feel sorry for. It’s the poor buggers stuck carving turkey whilst forced to wear crappy paper hats which always fall over your eyes when you’re handling a lethal vibrating blade. Then there’s the eating-until-you-feel-sick which, I’m happy to say, I’ve managed to avoid since I officially stopped subscribing to the modern Christmas about two or three years ago. Some people could argue that I’m miserable but I don’t need some giddy marketing Samantha to brainwash me into thinking that the Christmas spirit involves my boosting the annual sales of high street retailers or increasing the national debt sending my funds to China via Amazon.
If Christmas really was the Christmas of ‘A Christmas Carol’ or ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ then I wouldn’t have any problem with it. I’d be as Christmas spirited as anybody. I’m just not sure when the Christmas message stopped being about individuals giving thanks to their family and realising something important about being human. Instead it became an extension of our greed, our materialism, a way of controlling us though powerful mechanisms of suggestion: guilt, greed, avarice. If you complain about queuing up in the crowds to spend £15 on that John Bishop Christmas comedy DVD that will £3 on Boxing Day, then I have no sympathy for you.
As if any of this matters… Christmas gets earlier every year and few complain and nobody listens to those of us that do. What does individual opinion really matter in markets worth billions? Spend or don’t spend. I mean as much as a single light going out on the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree.