I don’t get it. Christmas is the one thing everyone always takes for granted. Like many others of course, say, that I cook, because I’m Italian. That I like shopping or shoes or having my make-up or hair done, ’cause I’m a girl (I do NOT).
But nothing is as extreme, time consuming, repetitive, incredibly hugely irritating, as Christmas.
I never cared for Christmas, it never made any sense to me, never had any special memories of Christmases past (a couple, not even especially pleasant). Even when I used to believe in a God that I could and would speak to, I always felt Christmas was a “pretend” birthday of the baby Jesus, and because I had my own direct line to God, I really couldn’t care less about Christmas.
If lights or parties were grand at Christmas, I liked them because I like(d) great lights and parties.
When I started going to University in London, Christmas meant Christmas parties with friends and taking the plane back to Italy, where I’d see my beloved siblings and mother, sometimes other relatives too, that I (usually, sometimes, occasionally) liked and great great food would be cooked. I tried to focus on these things rather than the tediousness of preparations, people I didn’t care about, and so on. So yeah, that was great, bring on Christmas!
Then my mum died, and Christmas was sad, but it still meant seeing my sister and related family and that was great. I got a big fat crush on one acquired relative on one Christmas Eve, I still remember telling my other relative that he, like good wine, had improved with ageing.
Then when I met my husband Christmas meant his amazing family, and it made sense again. Not Christmas, but being together with his family did. Then his mum and later (recently) his grandma died, and nothing made sense. Sure I still wish I could have a Christmas where I get to see my sister in law and my sister and brothers, but that’s it. My Dad was never really a recurring presence at Christmas, if he was he normally meant fights with my mum, so he’s not in my happy Christmas thoughts.
Now, it’s nothing more than an excuse to see closest friends, and that’s always good, and of course I have to renew the efforts I always put into trying to make the boys Christmas special: they are now older, so I have lost some motivation, but my daughter is only 5, and I am really trying my hardest to keep it up for her.
My complete indifference/irritation with Christmas is such that if customers or colleagues say “Merry Christmas” and all the rest of it, well-meaning though I know they are, I feel so, so fake saying Merry Christmas to you too, that I have to just say Yeah! Happy Holidays!!! (Because Holidays are always good).
So there, bloody Christmas. Unfortunately, unlike the bloody end of the world thingy, which was wearing my nerves thin, it’s not over, and will come back year after year after year.
So, yeah, my appeal for Christmas I guess is the same as always: it matters to some people. It matters that they are alone. It matters that those they love are far away, emotionally or physically. So if you can, make an effort to include whoever may be feeling left out. If you’re lucky to still have your mum or relatives or friends who are alone nearby, make their day, don’t quarrel, be peaceful, be merry.