Christmas: The C Word

DecemberSo today it begins. They tell me it’s alright to talk about Christmas from today, 1st December, or The C Word as it’s known chez moi.

I might as well get this off my chest. I hate Christmas. Always have. Always will.

I’m exaggerating for effect, of course. I haven’t always hated it. I have pretty much mostly always hated it. Unless you are a singleton, you cannot know the special hell that is Xmas and yes, I know, it’s not limited to singletons; you have my sympathies too, whoever you are and whatever your reasons for hating it.

I like to call it Xmas, such is my disdain for it, even though the bits I like best are, you know, the original bits, the reasons why we are ostensibly celebrating, the bits we dare not name anymore because they are not fashionable, certainly not here in the UK. Knock the mas bit off the end of the word, and you’ll end up with a big fat clue.

I also like a fortnight off work, I won’t deny that.

And I quite like Chrimbo in the brief span of ten years or so every generation when there’s someone in my family who believes in Santa. Without that, what have you got? A lot of cynical, drunken, overfed and spoiled adults spending too much money. Ghastly! Stop me when you’ve heard enough. It all made some sense perhaps when my Mum was chuffed to bits to find a real orange in her Christmas stocking circa 1940, but now that we can – and do – eat and buy whatever luxury we want every day of the year, there’s nothing special about these horrid excesses. Bah humbug.

So, in terms of believing in Santa, that was 1955-1965 approximately for me and my brother. Then 1990-2000 approximately for my niece and nephews. And the next Santa ten-year window will correspond with my becoming Great Aunt Judith. [Dearie me, this story isn’t getting better yet, is it?]

But – ta da! Just like what I did with the clocks going back thing, which I also used to dread, I’ve decided to do it differently this year.

I’ve decided not to be a Grinch.

I can’t guarantee I will actually like it, the C word, but I am going to give it a bash. Because I know that what you appreciate appreciates. And what you put out comes back to you multiplied. So I am giving up banging the drum of how much I hate Christmas, no really… historically, that cannot be overstated. And instead I am choosing to love it. To go with the seasonal flow. To enjoy it and all it brings so long as that’s some nice smoked salmon, a decent bottle of champagne and a yule log.

Let’s see how that pans out. I will let you know on what used to be my favourite day of the whole Xmas season – 2nd January – the day we all go back to work, breathe a sigh of relief, start the New Year with a fresh sheet in our brand new notebooks, and put all the Chrimbo misery behind us for another twelve months.

But this year? It’s going to be different. Because I have decided it will be. So, peace on earth, good will to all men. Happy Christmas to you. Have yourself a merry little Christmas and I wish you all you wish yourself. I shall be on the lookout for all the good stuff. I’ve already agreed to go on an outing to Southwark Cathedral for carols and out for dinner afterwards so that’ll be a highlight for sure. Looking forward to that one, mos def.

Borrowing inspiration from Alison Steadman, as Pam in Gavin & Stacey, and paraphrasing her: “It’s Christmas. Please let me enjoy myself in peace the way Jesus would have wanted me to, on his birthday!”

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If you find Christmas as testing, stressful and difficult as I do used to, or you know someone who does, check out my Listening Vouchers, the perfect Xmas gift for you, if you love yourself enough, or for someone you care about. Give the gift of listening this year.

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