Merry Christmas or happy mid-winter, celebrate light over dark, Bacchanalian/Saturnalian festival time! Let’s put aside the whole business of whether you-know-who was born where-ever or when-ever there’s one thing we can be sure of in places where Christmas is celebrated – even if, as an individual, you decide to opt out – resistance is futile! Everywhere you look – it’s tinsel and yo-ho-ho, traditional Victoriana mixing with rampant consumerism, wall-to-wall Christmas on TV – there’s no way you can treat it as just another day!
Personally speaking I gave up on the whole nonsense years ago and it’s with some smugness that I observe the day’s ritual for other people – turn from that initial excitement of unwrapping the presents, getting the food started and drinking too early to – disappointment at the presents, stress that the food’s not going well and that the booze is running out to – eventually, at the end of the day – feeling the worse for wear and wanting to brain your relatives with the empty bottles! Do I miss those days? Not really!
So if you are ‘opting out’ – have a great day and here are some tips –
Don’t get intimidated by the tinsel! Avoid the telly by breaking out the box sets or look at your hard disk library with all those long films you’ve never got round to watching.
Start drinking early (I can agree with the traditionalists on that one!).
Get yourself a takeaway.
Weather permitting take a good bracing walk and greet people you meet with ‘Happy Whatever-religious-or-non-denominational-festival-you-choose’!
Feel smug that you’ve avoided the whole queasy mix of greedy consumerism and tacked-on sentimentality made to simmer in a pressure cooker of families being forced together on a day that can never live up to the hype.
Finally – and seriously – many people find themselves alone at this time of year. Or perhaps not even alone – but struggling with depression and not able to laugh at the whole tinsel farce. But to borrow the slogan – ‘Depression and loneliness are not just for Christmas’ … So if you’re thinking of helping someone who may be isolated and/or struggling at this time make it an early New Year resolution to get in touch and help out long term – it’ll do you the world of good too!
Check out the following sites if you feel you can (or need) help: