‘Tis the Season

When I was a child, I loved Christmas. Admittedly it was mostly about the presents. But there were other good things too. I used to like going into Manchester with my dad to see Santa Claus at Lewis’s department store, that always had wonderful window displays. When my mother made the Christmas cake, she used to give my sister and me big lumps of marzipan to enjoy (I still love marzipan).

But, over the years the lustre has worn off the season, and I’m a lot more cynical these days. It’s hugely, grossly overcommercialised. We are bombarded by messages encouraging us to spend money from late September onwards. Perfume ads on TV I find particularly irritating – they are all so pretentious.

Everyone’s under pressure to spend money they haven’t got on people they don’t like. We are obliged to spend time with people who drive us crazy. So instead of being a time of fun and relaxation, it’s a time of a great deal of stress.

And this is before we get to the ordeal of shopping. Now perhaps I could avoid this Hell by shopping early, but I object to Christmas starting in September. Working near Oxford Street is particularly troublesome this time of year. Oxford Circus underground station is often closed when I try to make my way home from work – either because of overcrowding due to the number of shoppers trying to get into the station, or because some dozy person has left their shopping on the train and the station is closed while the police make sure it’s not a bomb (part of London’s 40-year legacy of living with terrorism).

So on the whole, this is not my favourite time of year. Admittedly there are some things I enjoy. I do love mince pies. I am lucky enough to work for an organisation that shuts down between Christmas and New Year, so I get about ten days’ worth of lie-ins over the holidays, which I very much enjoy. And I still like getting presents (I think secretly everyone likes getting presents. We’re just not supposed to admit it).

But I don’t get into the whole festive cheer thing that seems to sweep up most of my colleagues.

Bah humbug.


6 comments so far

  1. ralfast on

    It’s only natural that after all the sugar coating we get as children that as adult’s we react differently.

  2. Michelle on

    Oh Sara – yuo need to borrow a child just for Christmas Eve maybe to get some of the magic back! A small child really doesn’t demand lots of money spent on it, they’re delighted with people just having Christmas lights in their windows and seeing how many cards the postman brings. I know in a few years it’ll be Playstations and Nike trainers but for now the wonder of Christmas returns.
    (p.s. I don’t buy anyone a present I don’t like or spend time with them – life’s too short. Also too short to worry about offending them! Chances are, if I’m not keen on them the feeling’s mutual!)

  3. Anne Skalitza on

    If you can, spend about ten minutes of quiet time each day. No music, no talking, nothing. Might help! And as Michelle said, if you can, borrow a child. Seeing Christmas through their eyes is special.

  4. ralfast on

    Talking of which, this little music video might help:

    Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays!


  5. Dad on

    You dont need a child to enjoy Christmas. For me one thing always comes through “peace on earth and goodwill to all men ” ( and women in this pc world ) I f this comes through whatever your religious viewpoint, Christmas is a good time worth celebrating. And is whatever you make it

  6. That Time Again « Imaginary Friends on

    […] of year, I have been known to ruminate upon the festive season (see posts for December 2011 and December 2009). And if you’ve been following this blog you’ll know I am not the world’s biggest […]

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