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Bah humbug

The Sun newspaper has been running a series of articles about Christmas killjoys. Get a load of href="http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,5-2005560564,00.html">this, this and this. I’m sure they’d consider me a Christmas killjoy.


The Adoration of the Kings from 1598 by Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568 – 1625)

Here’s why.
The birth of a poor jewish boy in a West Bank town 2,000 years ago to a teenage girl (who claimed to be a virgin even though she was married) is of no consequence to me. The fact that three travelling salesmen who were using the stars to navigate their way by camel across the deserts of the Middle East swung by to give some stuff to the lad is no reason for me to go out and spend, spend, spend in order to lavish unnecessary and probably unwanted gifts upon people who don’t need them.

I despise the ugly over-commercialisation of christmas; that people who can barely afford the cost of living under normal circumstances cripple themselves with debts to try to afford the best christmas ever, which probably means expensive, unnecessary gifts; over-priced tat; too much rich food and booze for days on end.

I hate the way we dress this ugly commercialisation up in a red and white costume, put a dear jolly old fellow’s face on it, give it a charitable spirit and call it Father Christmas. We then lie to our youngest children about him being real and build up their expectations so they too, when they grow-up, will perpetuate the lie and grotesque consumerism to the next generation. No, it isn’t harmless fun if you really think about it.

But what I loathe most of all is that it’s we women who -generally speaking – have to organise this festive jamboree. We buy all those bloody gifts, wrap all those bloody gifts, distribute all those bloody gifts, write the cards, send the cards, think about the shopping list, buy the shopping, prepare the food, cook the food and serve the food. To pay for it all we’ve been saving for months, applying for loans, getting into debt, denying ourselves things. The whole thing is a con established by men from a Middle Eastern Iron Age death cult and taken to ridiculous extremes by traders and capitalists in the 19th, 20th and now into the 21st century. How have we women been had so royally for so long? Christmas is not fun.

Yes I may be a grumpy old woman, but I am also a solvent, honest old woman who is not prepared to run herself ragged organising a celebration for which I give no toss whatsoever. So I don’t do christmas any more! No turkey, no pressies, no hangover, no stress, no over-spending. It’s liberating.

What I do like about christmas is it’s barely concealed prehistoric root. Early christians (such as St Nicholas) used existing midwinter festivals to graft on their own feast days. Strip the grafts away and you get the essence of it: the midwinter solstice and the promise of lighter, longer days ahead, and a chance to share food and warmth with people you love. Isn’t that all we really need?

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