We have officially reached December and the undeniable start of the seriously silly season.
This is my devil’s advocate blog to counter the usual sickly sweet bucket of rainbows and unicorn farts you will find on my other blog page. I totally believe in holiday miracles and the triumph of the human spirit and shit… But I also want to share with you just how tired and disillusioned I am with the commercialism and unreasonable expectations at this time of year.
I urge you to consider joining me, as I take it all with a grain of salt. Feel absolutely free to say fuck it to the holiday season. Or go ape shit and put tinsel in your hair and sing Christmas carols at your desk all day long. Do what feeds your soul, but know that there is no law that states you have to abide by any of the traditions or buying mountains of stuff.
This time of year drives stress levels sky-rocketing. Families fight, friends feel lonely, left out or overwhelmed. Older people can feel isolated. Finance companies prey on people who have been fed bullshit and believe they are failures if they can’t provide a Christmas with all the trimmings to their family. That kind of scavenger mentality sends my blood boiling in a big way.
So I generally like to lay low and get a lot of rest and peace while the world around me goes bat-shit crazy in a commitment to commercialism and conspicuous consumerism that crosses cultures and borders around the planet.
Malls are adorned with holiday decorations, playing locally unseasonal and also an entirely unreasonable amount of Christmas songs featuring snow and sleigh-bells and so forth. These trite tunes waft through speakers while mildly to morbidly-obese post-middle-aged men are donning sweaty satin santa suits and scaring children for hours each day. Those poor fuckers who sign up to be a mall Santa spend weeks in the trenches and I am thoroughly impressed with their patience.
And don’t get me started on the poor bedraggled parents. Nervously waiting to see if their little bundle of joy will sit calmly or lose their shit completely at the sight of Santa. Especially the first timers. I can spot them a mile off. Their dewy skin and rosy cheeks caused from all the rushing about, and their saucer sized eyes, wanting so much to make magic moments happen for their offspring. The whole mall Santa gig seems to be a somewhat sadistic right of passage to me now. By the time you get the fourth kid, chances are you will be happy to give the whole ordeal a wide berth.
Meanwhile, in the homes, offices and workshops of New Zealand, workers are working longer hours building momentum that will climax in chaos and failing to meet countless unrealistic expectations from a variety of sources. Parents and caregivers who have foregone financial recompense to raise the next generation or care for family or friends are on the front line of this stressful season. They are braving supermarkets, toy-sales, and Christmas wrapping queues across the country. I salute you! And I won’t be joining you.
We also get to run the gauntlet of Christmas parties (and subsequent hangovers), BBQs, parades, pageants, pleading for pointless playthings and emptying out of pantries across the country. I had several years of being the drunkest girl at many of these parties because I have issues with moderation, and ended up looking like a right twat.
We are all rushing headlong toward the nationwide commercial lull that happens between Christmas Eve and sometime in mid-January.
We do this every fucking year, and then just when we have thoroughly recovered we have to start the whole sordid ordeal over again.
I say fuck this shit. Fuck it right in the most consistently conspicuous corner of the corporate cluster fuck that has been bringing us to our knees and making us all feel inadequate for decades.
Who said we had to do this shit anyway? I can celebrate my spirituality and spend time with my family like a boss, with or without spending a fortune.
The reason I sound like such a sour bitch about the holiday season is because I am in recovery from a serious and stifling Christmas addiction.
I used to hoard the 75% off Christmas decorations from boxing day sales and dream of getting them out of the box and decorating my home and welcoming people in for eggnog and perhaps a cheeky mistletoe snog.
The turning point was, strangely, having children.
The first Christmas with my nearly one year old baby boy disappearing under a mountain of gifts with a look of confusion on his beautiful young face broke something in me.
He crinkled up the discarded wrapping and played in boxes and basically ignored the expensive and educational goodies we had lovingly chosen and wrapped for him over months and months leading up to Christmas morning.
Kids don’t give a flying fuck about your ability to buy them shit. At least mine don’t. They want you to watch them do tricks on the trampoline and climb trees. They want mid-week morning snuggles and days off work spent playing on the beach or in the snow or even just staying home and mucking in around the yard.
So put down the fucking credit card, close the fucking laptop, turn off those social media apps and chill the fuck out. Sit your seriously tired ass down for a quiet moment with someone who makes you laugh, phone someone you love and tell them you appreciate the shit out of them. Do the kind of shit that feeds your soul but keeps your bank balance in check. If you want to go all Martha Fucking Stewart, knock yourself out. But please don’t feel like you have to.
p.s. Merry Fucking Christmas