The Problem With Christmas
(Satire – sort of)
On previous years, my Christmas shopping tactic has been a simple one. If it cannot be purchased on the John Lewis website – to put it simply – I’m not buying it. I would buy everyone’s present in a single gargantuan John Lewis delivery, not even bother to wrap anything (would pretend this was me trying to be environmentally friendly, although the whole Greta-Thunberg-packaging-is-the-devil act was of course immediately abandoned the moment the individually wrapped chocolates emerged). Anyway, so everyone gets stuck into these massive boxes of John Lewis things. Socks! Everyone gets socks! Not only that, they get the most pointless socks in existence – Christmas Novelty socks! Which become utterly useless and embarrassing to wear 24 hours later when Christmas is over (sorry Greta!). Then you know how it is – this one wants a drone, this one wants one of those game consoles which I am now too desperately uncool to understand. Mum wants alcohol and to be left alone, this one wants a Chanel perfume. And voila! Christmas shopping is complete and delivered with quite possibly the least possible stress and effort expenditure. It’s worth mentioning that I love giving gifts. I am a thoughtful and prolific gift giver. I have sourced rare books and vinyls, Goodwood tickets, holidays, you name it, for loved ones. But Christmas is simply not the time to be wrestling a granny for the last pack of mince pies at Fortnums. I’m a lady after all… tis’ the season for Christmas cocktails and pampering.
This year I have thought of an even more masterful plan. Everyone is getting a hug and an improvised lecture about the dangers of Brexit. Should anyone complain, they shall then receive another improvised, and deliciously hypocritical lecture about the dangers of capitalism.
The problem with Christmas is it’s a bit like hosting your own party. A lot more fun in theory, if you allow yourself to take it too seriously. Between the pressure to cook the perfect turkey (something I achieve using Gordon Ramsays method of completely removing the crown and cooking it separately from the legs), and the pressure to constantly BE HAVING A GOOD TIME, the pressure on your stomach of consuming a weeks calories in one sitting, and the pressure to produce meaningful and well received gifts, I have found some years the process to be stressful (admittedly I am one of those people who can be an overthinker, could you guess haha), and I think the best way to get through it is simply to give yourself a break! Dear Santas reading this, do not stress (I can offer some stress relief should this be the case)! Life is way too short to feel bad about a dry Turkey (we invented gravy for precisely this reason), or that thing you wanted to buy not being in stock. So one of your relatives has had the audacity to turn vegan? No problem! Nothing a baked mushroom and a shot of vodka cant fix (the mushroom for them, the vodka for you). What I love about Christmas the most is turning off my phone, and enjoying a hearty meal whilst in the company of loved ones. The problem with Christmas is that we tell ourselves certain things only happen once a year because they are exceptional, but in reality it’s because those things are often exceptionally bad! If turkey, Brussels sprouts, mulled wine and extended periods of time in a confined space with the family whilst The Queen lectures us was all such a good idea, we would “enjoy” these things all the time! There’s a reason you’ve never woken up on a mid-July morning with an unstoppable craving for Panettone. I’m not entirely convinced Christmas wouldn’t be better with a group of your best friends, all sharing a giant lasagne and a couple good bottles of red, with a film that doesn’t involve Macauley Culkin playing in the background.
I’ve never spent a Christmas overseas in the sunshine because I’m British, and putting myself in completely avoidable situations then complaining about them is an intrinsic part of our national DNA. But one of these years I just might do it.
Just some thoughts…
Merry Christmas! Big kisses and thanks for a lovely year. See you soon xx