It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas – Why Most Scrooges Don’t REALLY Hate The Yuletide Season
The dread month December is well and truly upon us once more. Winter has us cornered. It’s baring its teeth and getting ready to go for the throat. December is a seemingly endless conveyor belt of dismal weather, dark nights and seasonal depression. Unless you live in Australia, in which case you get sizzling summer days, beach volleyball and barbecues. You also get skin cancer and sharks, but everything has its downside.
Admittedly, January is more depressing than December, but at least January has the decency to be quiet and boring. The final month of the year shows no such decorum. It contains Christmas and Christmas is by its very nature noisy, visceral and chaotic.
If you have read the sub-heading of this post and are expecting some sort of heart-warming “everyone loves Christmas really” message, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. If that’s the sort of vibe you’re after, then you’d best stop reading now and sneak off to watch a Disney Movie or something.
What I meant by “Most Scrooges Don’t Really Hate Christmas” is that they don’t really hate it compared to how much I hate it. I work in retail. Unless you work in retail, you only think you hate Christmas. It doesn’t matter what terrible tragedy may have befallen you on some previous Yuletide , unless you have worked “in country” in retail at this time of year you have no inkling of the first glimmer of the concept of hating Christmas.
Oh, there are exceptions to this rule of course. If you are a Police officer for example. Black Friday is a relatively new addition to British culture. Black Eye Friday, sadly, is not. Black Eye Friday is the Friday before Christmas Day and is traditionally reserved in Britain for going out on the town and consuming vast quantities of alcohol. It is in this alcoholic haze that Brits traditionally forget about the season of goodwill and festively punch each other’s lights out and smash Newcastle Brown Ale bottles over each other’s heads. So if you’re a copper I can see how Christmas might not be your favourite time of year.
Photocopier repair men also have a rough time right throughout the December party season. Even in this age of webcams and selfies, there is something irresistible about the combination a drunk girl, her arse and a photocopier. Unfortunately, the glass top of a photocopier is not designed to take the weight of anything heavier than a few sheets of A4 paper. And no matter how svelte the girl or how pert her buttocks, the whole combo weighs a damn sight more than a couple of sheets of A4. Plus it’s very often not the svelte, firm buttocked girls who feel the compulsion to hand out photocopies of their arses in the first place. So, party after party, photocopier after photocopier, girls’ arses crash through the glass and the photocopier repair men have to fix the damage. Without the attendant pleasures of having been to the party.
Christmas Day has come and gone, but the party season rumbles on. Christmas Day is the only part of the whole shooting match I like. No work, a lovely dinner made by my missus and getting gently sozzled while we wait for Doctor Who to come on the telly.
Tonight is the big party of course and then it’s nice boring, clinically depressing January. Even then though, Christmas still haunts us. As the old song reminds us, there are Twelve Days of Christmas. The decorations don’t come down until Twelfth Night, which is the 5th of January. So if you don’t like Christmas, you’re not out of the woods yet. There’s six more days of it to go.
For me, Christmas is a lot like the film “It’s A Wonderful Life”. For the most part it’s relentlessly grim and you only really begin to be able to enjoy it when it’s nearly over. It’s definitely beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. It can smell like mince pies and sherry or it can smell like loneliness and despair. I’m desperately trying to smell the nice bits of it. And to hope that, as in “It’s A Wonderful Life”, everything will turn out ok in the end.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2013