Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Spending = Bancruptcy

A whinge before Christmas

I’m bracing myself for the commercial, hypocritical bullshit that is Christmas. Oh sorry did I say that out loud?! Anyone who knows me well knows about my long-standing hatred of the holiday season. Being in America this year, I thought I would get to avoid some of the Christmas crap. How foolish I was. On the plus side, it is reduced to one day as they don’t celebrate Boxing day. However, in true American style everything is over the top, and despite living in the ghetto (well almost) its like Vegas outside with all the twinkling fairy lights. Actually that bit I do like. I had just finished moaning to my friend Mica about it, when she whipped out the decorations, and laughed at me as I proceeded to get over excited about them. I had to explain that although I despise and loathe Christmas, I do like decorations and some Christmas songs. God damnit, I hate it when people put out flaws in my irrational hatred.

Why do I hate Christmas so? Well, it’s a nationwide hypocritical day of self indulgence. We make ourselves practically bankrupt splashing out a whole bunch of cash on presents that will end up in a thrift shop or in the back of the broom cupboard by Easter.

It’s also an emotional upheaval. Christmas has always been disappointing for me on many levels. As a child, Christmas day was spent forced to sit in stiff, uncomfortable smart clothes, making polite conversation with senile grandparents who smelt of Lily of the Valley and mothballs. Despite my begging, my parents would never play board games like the glossy families would on the adverts. Instead they would end up crashed out on the sofa, watching the James Bond movie rubbing their overfed bellies as they contemplating tackling the washing up. The age gap between my sister and me was too great to make her useful company.

Boxing day would be spent in the circus that is my dad’s side of the family. Jostling for attention from a father I hardly knew, with my half brother and sisters, while the rest of the family tried to out do each other by the elaborate way they’d wrapped and displayed their gifts. Yes, really.

And don’t get me started on New Year. As a child, it came and went with little note, my parents choosing ‘not to make a fuss’ as I slept through it. As an adult, it’s never got much better. Last year was spent celebrating it just me and Scott with a cup of tea and impending redundancy to look forward in the New Year.

But it was the first Monday back at school after the Christmas holidays which I dreaded the most.
“What did you get?” Those four words grate on my teeth and vibrate down my spine even now. It should have been water off a ducks back. But it would take me to the summer to recover from inadequacy as my friends reeled off long lists of their newly acquired wares.

So that’s why I hate Christmas. Ho fucking ho.