Christmas WHAT? When did it get to be December already?

What do you mean, it’s almost Christmas?  25 December indeed;  what the feck happened to November? *

So yeah, Christmas.  I am really not ready for it, it’s not my favourite time of year at any point in time, let alone sneaking up on me in such a sly fashion.  Okay so I am / was kinda out of the whole festive seasonal loop but still. Bastard.

So why am I so Scrooge / Grinch-like about Christmas?  Same reason everyone else is, I guess.  The crass in-your-face materialism, the gross conspicuous expenditure, the fake jollity and playing at Happy Families.  The expectations and pressures and lots of old emotional baggage associated with the holiday.

Being an atheist isn’t really a relevant factor of my Christmas Hate, although you might think so.  I believe that Jesus existed, I just don’t believe he was any kind of supernatural being or related in any way to some mythical monotheistic deity.   I may not be a Christian but I dislike the fact that a Christian holiday has been imbued with values and culture completely inappropriate and contradictory to that belief system 

Tux and I have pretty much banned Christmas, the years we’ve been together.  We recognise it’s pagan roots, a time for celebrating another year passed, a time to celebrate with family and friends.  That in itself is difficult as half our family and friends are 15,000 km away and we miss them.  And believe me when I say my family leaves much to be desired when it comes to natural, unforced and sincere gatherings.  This year, as all years, we go to my parents for Christmas lunch.  Go, and leave as soon as decently possible, to be brutally honest.

Gift-giving is minimal between the two of us, if it occurs at all [we go big for birthdays instead] and my immediate family has a Kris Kringle / Secret Santa gift exchange so we buy for that one person, with a dollar limit.  It works well, it’s convenient and keeps the last minute panics to a minimum.

. . . . . . . . . .

Tux and I also host a Christmas Eve get-together with other “orphans”, ie friends whose families live in the UK too, or have little or no family to go to.  It’s always the most fun and relaxed of parties; one year I just cooked a massive coq au vin and we all dug in with spoons and hunks of crusty bread, and huge glasses of good red wine; other years we’ve done the seafood and BBQ thing.   This year I’m cooking an enormous pterodactyl turkey, with attendant vegetables and an apricot and cashew stuffing [gluten free of course!].   I’m looking forward to the tryptophan coma; I adore turkey.  Dessert will be crème brulée and vodka-macerated strawberries; I may be going the trad route with the big bird but I’m not doing plum pudding or pavlova.

To all of you who celebrate this holiday, in whatever form you prefer, however grand or low-key, I wish you much fun and laughter and good times, and warmest wishes for the New Year.

. . . . . . . . . .

* Oh yeah, November.  Not a good month; I spent pretty much all of it in bed, screaming in pain, and so the month just slid away from me.  Very unpleasant, boring and frustrating.  I was pissed off mostly because I missed three weeks of horse riding, and the centre closes up for the school summer holidays so I won’t get to ride again until February.  Grr, argh.

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