When I don’t like Christmas

Three times I have been prodded, and so it shall be. I am bound to blog, unlucky are ye.

I usually like Christmas. A lot. This year a series of mildly irritating circumstances in the immediate runup to the holiday reminded me of all the stuff I really despise about Christmas.

I’m lucky that although I am technically a part of the retail phenomenon that is the problem, neither I nor anyone else in the shop feel the need to force Christmas down anyone’s throat. In general? I blame retailers for everything I hate about Christmas. Starting as soon as they possibly can, sometimes before Halloween, we are whipped into a frenzy of spending and preparing and stressing to create the perfect day, which nearly always falls flat because we are all of us human. After months of preparation, Christmas leaves people exhausted. This is perfectly timed, as people are thrust into contact with their extended families with whom they may not get along even on the best of days.

We are told to shop for everyone, regardless of whether they want anything or can use the token you’ve procured for them. We either abstain from shopping for ourselves, or we buy stuff anyway and feel guilty. And then we still binge shop the day after Christmas. There are even sales for facilitating this.

Meanwhile, as Dublin is hit with weather we’re not equipped to handle, some people are left stranded and unable to travel wherever they’d planned on spending their Christmas. It throws things into sharp perspective, when you’re out shopping at the last minute for someone you may not get to see after all. You remember that what you (and they) really want is just to be home for Christmas.

I am lucky in that I usually get what I want for Christmas, which is to be home. After the frenzy dies down and everyone is enjoying the results of their frantic shopping, I can enjoy being home. It’s a lot easier these days than it used to be, but I don’t appreciate it any less.

I hope you’re enjoying your Christmas, wherever you are, whoever you’re with, and whatever you’re doing.