Unusually, because I enjoy a good rant at Christmas time, (I'm not a huge fan,) I've kept to myself this year. Various reasons, I think mostly because some times its hard to find the humour at this time of year. In which regard, if you're the same, this post is for you.
Christmas and New Year, its a bit of a roller coaster you can't avoid, some people climb aboard with glee, others, with less enthusiasm; I'm firmly in the latter category. It goes with out saying, you can't avoid it, even if you have no one in the world to impress or pretend to be cheerful for, you are surrounded by expectation. From telly adverts to news paper headlines, at work surrounded by forced cheer and merriment; you WILL enjoy yourself.
If you're not sure what kind of Christmas you should be having, Debenham's, Asda or Tesco are only too happy to demonstrate in their respective adverts how you should be comporting yourself, sometimes, I think it would be interesting if you could pick an organisation that best suits your Christmas experience rather than have some aspirational dross piped into your home by C&A's. Ours would probably come from the Samaritans or perhaps Alcoholics Anonymous.
I always go in expecting the worst and while I've never had my worst imaginings fulfilled, its always been excruciating, a mixture of faux bonhomie, forced cheer (the worst kind) and cringe inducing sentiment. Our Christmas Day consists of not rocking the boat and not getting to close to Dad while he's eating pudding lest you be sucked in like a hapless commuter standing too close to the edge of the platform as a high speed train hammers by. (Don't laugh, small cousins have gone missing...)
I have a confession to make this year (not that I imagine you'll give a be-tinseled shit being as I am a complete stranger to most readers.) I know its probably wrong to be impressed, but I managed this year to buy no presents what-so-ever, my excuse is; I ran out of time. I literally had no time to buy anything, I mean, I could have rushed around on Christmas Eve but I thought; fuck that, I can't be arsed. Normally I'm more organised (I only buy for my parents, its not much of a challenge.) But, for various reasons, each one I assure you, more persuasive than the last, I just flat ran out of time.
I did buy cards for my parents, they are sentimental about that and they aren't hard to buy. I don't get involved with the Christmas card war of attrition that goes on in the work place, same goes with extended family (my brother doesn't even get a card.) I'm always surprised by people at work who remonstrate because I didn't return their Christmas good wishes, I have to patiently explain, the reason they didn't get a card extolling any positive feelings was because I am essentially honest and wouldn't want to paint a false picture for them.
Its over now though, there are those climbing out of the roller coaster car grinning from ear to ear, some are merely satisfied after a pleasing period of familial and friendly reconnection. There are others though, stumbling off, alone, flecked with their own vomit who's misgivings have either been satisfied or worse still; re-enforced.
I'm the first to admit I have my moments, I really am a cynical, miserable bastard at times and at Christmas, it does come to the fore. But listen, I'm not a pessimist, nor am I an optimist, I think like a great very many people, I'm just some where in the middle and react positively or negatively to things going on around.
For some people, Christmas (and New Year) just underlines and amplifies the crap things in life. Maybe its because you are alone, maybe its because you anticipate being alone (or maybe its because you want to be alone...)
Which ever it is, this one is for you.