No, not THAT one, you mucky pups! I’m talking about the purveyor of the shiny things, bringer of useless tat and hideous records…yes, its Christmas.
I dread the annual onslaught of gaudy tinsel and festive hued plastic, shovelled down our necks by marketing demons. They cram sparkly displays into our shops at the earliest point possible, having been granted a day’s respite from the pumpkin stuffed orange and purple nightmare of Halloween. Not this year, no sirree. The C word cards, decorations and wrapping paper had crept into the shops…in OCTOBER. I have two words to the evil, deranged marketers who thought this was a good idea.
Don’t bother shouting bah humbug. I am a self confessed Christmas cynic. It is the constant pressure to buy buy buy and the falseness of it all that I am a hater of. Goodwill to all men? Why can’t we do that all the time and not just once a year? The next time you are in town to do your shopping, take a moment to look at people. I mean really look. There are hordes of scowling, stressed out humans looking miserable and tired. Beware of getting in their way, or you are likely to be barked at and flattened.
No jolly faces, frolicking around in the snow with cute robins and twee elves. Not exactly the Hallmark card lie we are being sold is it? I’m expecting to be shitting green and red glitter by the 24th December, yet after months of bombardment, I am utterly sick and tired of the whole marketing circus and I just want it to be over. There is no ‘opting out’ here. The C word is EVERYWHERE. I am trapped inside a horror movie with the worst soundtrack imaginable. There is no escape from it.
Lately, I’ve been trying to make more ethical choices with my purchases, and buy from as much local businesses as possible, rather than giving my money to faceless corporations who do nothing but bleed us dry and make us happily pay for shit.
I walk into my favourite coffee place in town. It is a wee independent place with the best homemade scones. They are playing ‘Paranoid’ by Black Sabbath as I walk in. Glorious wee moments like this reaffirm my faith in a Higher Power. This place is an oasis in a sea of plastic fakery, and a rare find. I cannot begin to convey how relieved I felt hearing Ozzy and Tommy belt out their jams. I felt like flinging my arms around the barista, tearfully thanking them for not playing Christmas music. I love writing in that place, so thankfully did not go with my first thought. I’m all for being myself, but sometimes, you need to wind your neck in with strangers.
They have a tree of course, and a few tastefully placed twinkly lights, but that is it. Perfectly understated and not at all in-your-face. Bliss. I can feel my soul returning to health, instead of feeling like it has been sucked out by a Christmas vortex.
I really feel empathy for anyone working in retail during this time. If I had to listen to the crap they play in the shops all day, every day, I’d kill myself. Seriously. Five minutes and I can feel it crushing my spirit. I have my usual last minute dash around the shops to look forward to tomorrow to get my presents. Don’t worry, I have a plan.
- Get into town as early as possible
- Run around the shops as fast as possible
- Ta dah!
I am also buffering the nightmare with a trip to the hairdresser and lunch in town with a friend. I’m not a complete Grinch, despite my aversions. I like giving presents to my favourite people. I enjoy sitting down to have a proper dinner with my family on the actual day. I love having some time off.
I don’t mind the wrapping part after the shopping, because I can do that in the comfort of my own tinsel-free home, listening to music that feeds my spirit. Roll on the New Year, when it will all be over, the sales will still be dragging on and the marketing demons will be shovelling Easter eggs down our necks instead. Perhaps they are lurking in the dark corners of a supermarket near you already…just waiting to pounce. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised.
If you are feeling generous and want to forgo some shiny tat and do some good instead, these wonderful people provide meals for the homeless on Christmas Day http://social-bite.co.uk/
100% of their profits go to projects that help the homeless. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other causes to donate to. Or you could buy some pointless shiny tat that will fester in a cupboard gathering dust until next year. We all have our right to choose.
I’ll leave you with the only Christmas song I like, because of its realness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9jbdgZidu8
Hope you all have a love-filled, peaceful holiday.