Well, it had to happen.
Not christmas, I meant this post, christmas I'm happy to leave well alone. In my world there would be no christmas, it wouldn't happen. Instead people would be encouraged to give presents etc any day of the year or if people really felt the need to flex their giving/receiving muscles it could be amalgamated into birthdays, just think, all those insansely cheerful and insufferably smug adverts (think jamie Oliver with a tray of Mince Pies, yeeurgh) all year round. Actually that is a shit idea, I'd rather die than live in that reality.
Christmas is a horrible time of year, it's a time of pressure in terms of economics, family and expectations. Even knowing my thoughts on this time of year people still get miffed if they send a card and I don't send one back. I don't do cards, they know this yet by placing one on my desk or through my letter box it somehow puts in place a contract that if broken means many months of hard stares and awkward silences, not for me though because I never asked for a card in the first place.
Presents as well, I don't give presents but again, someone puts a trinket on my desk or in my hands with a look in their eyes which is the equivelant of hands being held out. I'm not so insensitive that I enjoy standing there like a plank having nothing to give back but you see, I didn't ask or expect anything from you in first place.
For me though, the reason I don't like christmas and why its not a jokey 'oh he's just being miserable' thing is because my family is utterly dysfunctional, the extent of this dysfunction would be funny if it wasn't so serious. When I say I hate christmas I really mean it and on many levels as well.
The religious aspect of it is neither here nor there, the commercialisation of it while pretty disgusting again is neither here nor there, whether some spoilt little fucker gets an xbox or not matters not a jot. Christmas for a great many people is like a giant highlighter pen, a big flourescent yellow Stabilo Boss (I have one on my desk here) that for the month of December serves to bring to the fore everything that is shit about their existence. I was going to say I wasn't envious of those families who do get together and have a great day because I am slightly, I certainly don't begrudge them it (although this missive may say otherwise.) It's just that for many, quite a lot in fact and for a great many for whom it may look good; its actually a load of fucking shite.
Right, so I've got that off my chest and its on to other things. The John Lewis advert, much vaunted in the press, released early before TV transmission in the hope it would go viral, no idea if it did. The premise is a wee boy seemingly impatient to get to christmas morning so he can tear the paper from his new xbox (the little fuc-) But no! He was actually desperate to give his own gift to his parents. If you read Charlie Brooker's Blog in The Guardian, among other things, he claims the sweetly wrapped box contains the severed head of the family dog. I think its worse than that, I think it's his sister's severed head, (the boy's, not Charlie Brooker's.) That's why she's not in the advert and that's why through-out the advert, his parents regard him with concerned looks, they're worried about him alright, they know what he's done, oh yes, next time it's on the telly, look at that advert in this new light and you'll see the truth of it.
The only agreeable thing about it is the music, I actually quite like it, I like it more because its an old Smiths track, Morrisey the odd-dancing (youtube it, it's bizarre stuff) & ex-lead singer gave permission for it to be used. Apparently disgruntled Smiths fans up and down the land are throwing their bongs and couscous out the pram because the big M in his heyday was something of an anti-establishmentarialist, hold on let me check that again... It might be wrong, I have no idea, in any case, anything that gets the greeny-holier-than-thou-vegetarian crowd up in arms is a good thing in my mind.
So far, the Littlewoods advert I think is most annoying because it is the most catchy, I find myself humming it (I'm starting to hum it now in fact) and I have to punch myself in the face as a form of revulsion therapy. The down side to this is when ever I hear the tune, I now punch myself regardless, some local kids have found out, they run up and sing and I start punching myself in the face; its a bit embarrassing. The Morrison's advert with Jamey Oliver (who I didn't mind until I saw an episode of Jamies' Great Britain or some other brain-dead offering from the BBC peaktime mulch-machine) and I discovered the true depthes of his cretinous nature, as a result Morrisons adverts are rubbish all year round.
I went for walk on Saturday night to the German Market in Princes Street Gardens (it's in Edinburgh if you're not from these parts.) It was quite pleasant in an over-crowded overly busy way, there were loads of oriental people dribbling sausage fat or bits of crepe & melted chocolate down their lovely clothes while, I assume, German people, sold things to the punters they couldn't possibly want or need under any other circumstances, for example, a sculpture of a swan made out of wire rope? No idea what that signifies (almost a pun there.) You could have your brat's name woven into a big christmas stocking or buy a stupid hat with ear flaps, if you wear it just right you can hide the look of shame on your face as you realise you've just spent an entire week's wages on utter shite.
To summarise. I don't like christmas in a very intrinsic way, although I hope others enjoy it if they can. Christmas adverts do annoy me, each one apart from being insufferably cheerful and smug serves to remind us how we should be feeling but cannot. I've so far managed to avoid being drawn into christmas card trench warfare or a war of gift attrition, although I do like a christmas dinner, as long as I can eat it on my own and in peace preferably with lots of cheap wine to deaden the pain.
I have to stop now, I need to take my swan back to the German Market, when I tried to hang my new hat & scarf combo on its wings, they fell off with a clang. Its not all bad though, it turns out I'm quite good with a German Sausage, the looks of appreciation on the faces of the several Japanese students I helped who were struggling with their sausages was gratifying indeed.
I think it was appreciation, its hard to tell because they all look-