Friday, 6 January 2012

Recovering Christmas Curmudgeon!

I'm not saying that I completely dread the annual excesses and triviality of Christmas, but I'm glad to have survived to the end of another one and escaped, largely unscathed.  Even the New Year nonsense is more-or-less over.  All those questions from colleagues about whether I had a good break and whether I went away at Christmas can be put behind me for another year.

Although the holiday season has many features that we can all enjoy, it is nice to be able to sit back and relax and consider the benefits of reaching twelfth night, and knowing that it is all over for another year.  The turkey is either finished or safely frozen for use in coming weeks when we will be able to enjoy it properly.  The decorations are safely packed away and have been returned to the loft for another 11 months (or hopefully a little longer).  At last there is more space in the house where the dreaded Christmas tree was standing, and I can finally get into cupboards that were behind it.

The best thing about the end of the holidays is to be rid of that bl**dy tree - but for next year I have found the perfect alternative.  I have no idea why I haven't seen this before.  It could be a space-saving miracle to hang the tree upside down from the ceiling, complete with all the pretty decorations.  I'll try to get away with it next year - but I fear that I will fail.

No longer do I have to look delighted when given one of those presents that can be considered as nothing other than a 'gift'.  Have you noticed the sort of thing that I'm thinking of?  It is one of those products that you find in a 'gift shop'.  It is something that you would never dream of buying for yourself, but still you find yourself buying it to give to someone else. 

I suppose all of us do it to some extent, just to make sure that none of the relatives feel left out - even though many of them would probably feel as I do.  I have to admit (ungratefully) that I sometimes wish that people would have saved their money and thus saved me from having to lie about how much I appreciate the 'gift' . 

Think here of a tin of sweets in the shape of a train, bought by a thoughtful nephew, because 'Uncle likes steam trains doesn't he?'  Whether Uncle likes the dolly mixtures contained in the tin (he doesn't) or feels appalled by the pathetic depiction of a steam locomotive by an arty designer who appreciates nothing of the engineering beauty of a real locomotive (he does) isn't relevant.  At least he has been given a present and he should be grateful for it!

Well - lovely as it was that people think of me - please let me escape the Christmas commercialism for another year, along with the sheer waste that goes with it.

Bring back the old spiritual aspects of Christmas!  As a confirmed atheist I am likely to complain about the inconsistencies contained therein too, but at least I wouldn't be feeling offended by the sheer squandering of resources that the secular people of earth could use for something useful instead.

So next year, thanks for the thought but don't worry about giving me 'gifts'.

Small note:  Christmas rant over and done with now!

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