Bah humbug should really be my middle name(s) - (I have 2 in case you were wondering - Elizabeth Jane). I digress.
It's that time of year again - 'the most wonderful time of the year'. Christmas - dontcha just love it? Yes and no I would have to say. It is nice to have a break and spend time with loved ones but I do feel it all goes more than a bit OTT these days.
It starts in September (sometimes towards mid August) as you stealthily wander round Debenhams/M&S/Primark at the tail end of the sales, looking for bargains etc and you start to see xmas displays, a few garlands of tinsel, which become ever more pronounced. Then, the infiltration of xmas music, usually from October onwards. (Anyone else think that Noddy Holder must be the most smug bugger in the history of the universe - his wife must have strong earplugs)? I find it absurd. Let's start getting excited about Xmas at the end of November onwards; let's not wish 3/4 of the year away worrying about what size turkey we're going to buy and if Tarquin would prefer an i-pad or a google tablet in his stocking. OK, I don't have kids and I do appreciate that kids tend to get excited earlier on - but even so - reign it in a bit people.
Also, the whole point of Xmas does seem to have become lost in a quagmire of commercialism and in some cases downright greed. People seem more worried about stockpiling their trollies with enough brussel sprouts and stilton to feed a small continent rather than taking time to reflect on what's important. We are supposed to live in a Christian country and it doesn't get much more Christian than Xmas - but do we really care about Christ's birthday per se any more? I would say no. I hold my hands up and say that I do believe in God but never go to church (I think it's a very flawed institution) so I'm a massive hypocrite (ho hum) but if I get the opportunity, I love churches at xmas - carol services, stained glass; just the beauty of it all.
My hypocrisy also extends to another level - whilst I bemoan the inherent greed and commercialism; what am I doing to fight against it? Diddly bloody squat is what. Some people volunteer at hospices or homeless shelters: I have not done this before. I should and will actually think about it for next year.
It's a massive old cliche - but Xmas is not a happy time for everyone. Some people are alone, desperate, suicidal and dreading a time where their happiness and joy is supposed to be paramount. It's the inate saturation of the media et al that decrees: 'You WILL be happy, you WILL dress up lots, eat and drink too much and narrowly avoid snogging Roger from accounts at the Xmas party'. It's all a bit 'desperate'.
In any case, I heartily wish each and every one of you (or 1 of you plus the inevitable google spambots), a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year and genuinely hope 2013 is happy, peaceful and fun. I am going to disregard all I have written here and stuff myself with champers, mince pies and sausage rolls. Well, it is Xmas...
Oh, and as it goes, as far as I know, there is not a Roger in our accounts department. Oh well, maybe next year....