Every family requires a scrooge. I am the family scrooge. While everybody else is sipping champagne, opening gifts and pulling crackers I can be found muttering to myself and reprehending the happiness of these poor, misguided people. But alas, that time of the year has once again rolled around; children are excitedly counting down the days until Christmas, parents are anxiously awaiting the reception of their children to the pile of gifts stacked higher than the tree, representing an entire month of wages, and I am on exceptional ranting form. So what does this scrooge hate most about Christmas?
Bad weather is typically a menace, slowing entire countries to a shivering halt, causing the elderly and unsure-footed to avoid leaving home in fear of falling and breaking (many) bones, amongst other things yet come Christmastime, the weather’s drawbacks are hastily put aside and everyone longs for another glorious white Christmas. I, on the other hand, hate snow all year round. Whether it be Christmas, Easter or June, I loathe snow. Snow is cold and when combined with ice becomes a slippy hindrance death-trap that even the most agile of us cannot evade.
From my observations, Christmas shopping is regular shopping in excess. More food, more alcohol and more people flooding every supermarket, corner shop and toy store across the land. Buying a first class stamp becomes comparable to teaching an elephant ballet; not impossible, but not without its difficulties. The supermarkets close for two days but people prepare for these closures in a pre-apocalyptic manner, stacking shopping trolleys full to the brim with snacks, frozen food and microwave meals, not to mention the shockingly over-sized turkey and unusually large amount of vegetables.
Christmas plus children is a recipe for ADHD. Children want presents and they want them NOW. Try as you might, there is no explaining to an angry child that they cannot have their gifts until Christmas day. The majority of children will cry and scream until their parents, unfairly faced with such peril, resolve to surrender a single present to the child who then devours the gift wrap to unveil a new lego set, or whatever is desirable that particular year.
Families come together at Christmas. Distance relatives, with whom not a single correspondence is shared for the duration of the year, are now worthy of an acknowledgement of their existence. A card containing a meaningless verse, perhaps or a nice little picture of the smiling, happy family. People also become nice at Christmas. Children stash away their deviance, husbands abstain from cheating on their wives and women cook and clean twice as much with less complaint. But it never lasts for long.
My ultimate Christmas gift would be not having to bother with Christmas.
::Andrew also writes at The Robed Scribe::