Just because I anticipate this time of year with a heavy dread, doesn’t mean I’m an awful person.
First some literary corrections.
Ebenezer Scrooge was a miser and was mean to everyone around him all year round.
He did have a heart and compassion (you can’t just develop them overnight just because you’ve seen a ghost – or three…)
I, on the other hand am loving, generous, and openly compassionate (often wasted on the cold and heartless. Note: remember this in 2014) most of the year.
But… the next person that calls me Scrooge gets it. A full and foul outburst where I tell them they’re stupid followers and mindless slaves to consumerism (“let’s hock the house and buy our kids EVERYTHING they want honey!”)
I’ve already bought one person I don’t like a gift (an in-law); will probably be invited by my neighbour (who doesn’t particularly like me; it’s OK, it’s mutual) for drinks and sent cards to more than three people who I have no feeling for whatsoever.
Is this Christmas spirit? Is this what we’ve come to understand and accept as festive cheer? You can keep it.
Not liking Christmas is not liking the hypocrisy, the lies, the stepped up budgets each year for presents and the expense. Yes it bloody well does all cost too much.
The few catalogues that come through my door have this smirking section at the back: ‘Gifts for £1.99.’ It reaches out to those either unwilling (because they’re mean) or unable (because they’re poor) to spend more. It makes you feel mean and poor. What the hell’s wrong with a £1.99 gift?
Frankly I like giving gifts. But I don’t like the duty of buying them. I’ve scaled it right down this year. I gave my daughter a list (because she asked for one) but insisted she buy from charity shops. I can’t stand new stuff.
Every year I get called Scrooge when I’m checking my shopping out and complaining about the season (it’s not a season, it’s one day.)
Sure, let’s have a feast and a family gathering. But do it without presents and cards (oh the bloody cards…)
(An aside about the cards. What’s the point when the sender has just written their names and your family’s names inside? No greeting, no kisses, no little note…)
For the cultural ripples that this one book left, I want to put Dickens in the stocks and fling tomatoes (or cheap presents – shower gel, mince pies, keyrings that beep…) at him.
I make a supreme effort every day to do right by my children and family. I serve them (yes, serve them) and consider them in everything I do. So is Christmas for those who feel guilty at having neglected their loved ones all year? Is it a sort of plea for forgiveness? (‘Soz’…)
Yep I think it is.
The social manipulation and hoping to have me complicit in everyone else’s own filthy Christmas apology requiring debt, grudge, resentment and bestial overeating is unwelcome.
To you, I’m Scrooge (have they even read the novel?); in my own eyes, I’m noisily and publicly rebelling against the one massive festive apology to our loved ones.