Christmas: Scrooge vs Spirit

As I work my way through my advent calendar (the only chocolate I’m having before Christmas) I’m aware that Christmas is fast approaching.

And as ever I’m having an inner conflict about it- part of me wants to be enthusiastic about it all but I’m really struggling to control my inner Ebeneezer. A friend of mine has this almost childlike enthusiasm for the holiday and I find it really sweet and charming, but I just can’t seem to maintain that level of pure happiness.

I think its because as I get older Christmas just seems less of a big deal, I don’t have kids of my own and there are no children in my immediate family, and I think thats what makes you appreciate Christmas, either being a kid or having a kid to make a fuss of. Being agnostic, I can’t even approach it in the celebratory way my family are.

In fact I’m not sure I shoud even be celebrating the holiday, if I don’t believe in the reason for it. I suppose I mainly celebrate it as my family do and I want to enjoy it with them, and I like the family togetherness part of it, well mostly, but more on that later. And on a more selfish level I do enjoy the presents.

Also, I’m painfully aware of the commercialisation, its only the 6th day of December and already I’m getting sick of the onslaught of festive adverts. Add to the fact that every day I seem to pass more Christmas lights on my walk to work, many of which are beyond tacky. One house has a giant inflatable polar bear in a Santa hat on in their front garden, I can’t think of anything I’ve ever wanted to pop more.

And I’m spending every minute I listen to the radio or watching TV living in a fear similar to the Cold War, hanging over every day is the fear that at any time, and with no warning I might be exposed to massive amounts of Cliff Richard.

In general, I seem to be leaning more and more towards “Bah, humbug!” which I hate, I want to be happy about Christmas, I usually enjoy the actual day, well mostly, there are a few factors that bug me on the day:

a) My mum’s “No church, no presents” rule
b) My uncle, who I find hard work, but this year I plan to make a more concentrated effort not to get annoyed with
c) The fact I’m working in the evening of Christmas Day, which means no booze for Chris.

But like I said, I am trying to keep upbeat, and helping me through this are Christmas movies, over the last few days I’ve seen a couple of my top Christmas films, which are, in order:

8. Elf
7. Lethal Weapon
6. Its A Wonderful Life
5. Gremlins
4. While You Were Sleeping
3. Love Actually
2. Die Hard
1. A Muppet Christmas Carol

Also cheering me up this week was a Christmas related story that proves that when making a brand or a sign you really have to read it back to yourself to make sure it works and also consider what others might read into it.

Lots of people launch Christmas versions to get more money (for example the red and green M&Ms) and a small brewer decided to get in on the act and produced a yuletide ale that he called “Christmas Jumper” playing on the winter warmer.

But he made a mistake, he’s based in the South East of England and so called it “Beachy Head Christmas Jumper”. Now, for those who don’t know, Beachy Head is a notorious suicide spot where dozens of people throw themselves off the cliff every year. The brewer has been heavily criticised and slammed for insensitivity but I’m sure its just an honest mistake and a lack of thought in the naming process.

It made me laugh though. In that I can just imagine the guy’s face as the penny dropped.


Listened to today: Bang Bang (My baby shot me down)- Nancy Sinatra, Riverside (Let’s go)- Sidney Samson feat Wizard Sleeve, Bust a Move- Young MC, Stop In The Name Of Love- The Supremes, Hair- Lady Gaga, Its Now or Never- Elvis Presley, Hallelujah- Leonerd Cohen, Little Red Corvette- Prince, Doctor Alibi- Slash feat. Lemmy, Ballad of Ira Hayes- Johnny Cash, Eat the Rich- Motorhead.

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