As a whole the festive season, bar the excessive mulled wine consumption, does not agree with me. Call me scrooge, call me a misery guts and I’ll happily agree whilst rolling my eyes in the corner of the pub, watching people make twats out of themselves dancing to Slade – who in my opinion are a band for life, not just for Christmas. I haven’t always hated this time of year, far from it – in fact the year the turkey went tits up and we feasted on noodles and replaced ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ with ‘The Omen’ (the only film in our expansive collection the whole family could agree on) was quite fun. Only since then the idea of forced festivity has made me feel ever so slightly nauseous.
For a while I faked those Christmas orgasms for the sake of an easy life but this year I’ve decided to come clean and wallow in my seasonal scorn. It’s a time of year where you are expected to buy presents for people you’ve barely acknowledged for the past twelve months and be grateful for a pair of pyjamas that are three sizes too big. I don’t wish to sound ungrateful but I would much rather my Grandma saved her pension than persisted on buying me lavender bath oils which end up in a bag for the local charity shop come Boxing Day.
I am expected to spend time and money I don’t have visiting people I’ve nothing in common with except for a few strands of DNA, the ones who never remember my birthday and ask awkward questions about a boyfriend I am no longer with – something other family members are well aware of and therefore receive visits all year round.
Aside from presents and according to Facebook statuses which become dominated by review after review of Christmas dinners, food is another big attraction for Yule tide yuppies – I am a vegetarian who hates most vegetables, no further explanation needed on that one.
There’s also the pesky issue of religion that comes into play; it’s become increasingly hard to believe that Christmas is a day for celebrating the birth of Christ not consumerism. A recent survey of 1000 school children ages 5–7 (carried out by Woolworths.co.uk) saw over one in five answering the question ‘Who’s birthday do we celebrate on December 25th?’ with ‘Simon Cowell’.
As a diehard atheist myself I fully respect those who still celebrate Christmas for religious purposes, as well as those who view it as a time to relax with family – all I’m saying is it’s not for me. I don’t need one day a year to tell my loved ones I appreciate them in the form of a snowman sweater or book token, I tell them all year round. Perhaps I will feel differently if I ever have children and can recapture some of the magic but for the now the dreaded ‘Big C’ no longer exists for me. Next year while I’m sunning myself on a beach with a cocktail in each hand and (hopefully) a rugby player between my thighs, why not break out the Super Noodles and stick on a good old fashioned horror film? It could be more fun than you think…
(Originally written for a journalism module portfolio whilst studying at the University of Brighton, 2011)