Christmas per se doesn’t bother me. It is all the ridiculous hype leading up to it that makes me want to crawl into a hole and hibernate until Spring arrives.
First of all I can’t abide to see Christmas decorations in stores until after Hallowe’en. It galls me to see trees, tinsel and baubles for sale prior to November 1. Secondly, there is no need for an in-store Santa to arrive at any grotto prior to December 1. Nor is there a need to play Christmas carols in lifts or as general muzak until December arrives. And adverts on the telly… well that’s a whole other rant. Suffice to say that parents have enough to contend these days without the added pressure of kids begging for the latest, greatest toy advertised on TV.
Christmas as a religious festival has lost it’s significance. It is a celebration of the birth of Christ and should be remembered as such. It’s true that prior to the existence of Christmas there were pagan celebrations of mid-winter and the early Christians hijacked the winter solstice celebration and rebranded it as Christmas. Now we have gone full circle. We no longer celebrate Christ’s birth, or even honour the sun gods of our pagan forefathers. Our god now is crass commercialism. Just like it was in the days of Moses.
I am not a church goer. In fact these days I go only at Christmas and for funerals and weddings. The Catholic education I received from the nuns did little to keep me interested in church rituals. But I believe that Jesus offered a great blueprint for living a good life. If I could live it I would, but it’s not an easy road. It is easy to be selfish and lazy, not so easy to be forgiving and caring. I am glad that I know that there is a better way to live my life and I would be even gladder if I could actually live that way.
I send Christmas cards with a religious theme, refusing to dispatch pictures of snowmen or robins, sleigh-bells or Santa. I will buy cards with Nativity scenes or with words like Noel, Peace etc and I purchase them directly from the Charity Shop so as to cut out any profits for the middleman. My husband doesn’t care much for the religious cards but I refuse to budge on this. If we are celebrating Christmas we should at least acknowledge Christ’s birth.
But the final straw has to be Christmas fashion. For two months of the year we ladies are denied a decent choice. The shops are packed with what can only be described as Christmas clothes. Red, green and black being the main colours – many items having the added horror of being sparkly or tinselly . God help anyone who might want to buy a yellow dress or top between November and January. A couple of years ago I made a conscious decision to reduce the amount of black in my wardrobe. I was at a function and noticed that almost all the ladies were wearing black and very few of them actually looked good in it. I don’t buy black any more so I am left to choose between red and green. Red does nothing for me and I don’t have to go to a Celia Larkin seminar to learn that. This leaves me with green, which I like, but I don’t want to spend yet another winter wearing green.
Unfortunately I cannot hide myself away until spring so I guess I will just have to don a green dress, a smile and ask myself WWJD?