Bah Humbug

imageYou would be forgiven for thinking this post was written by Mrs Ebeneezer Scrooge, after a few lines in.

I have some very strong views about Christmas…. Warning!
So as an alternative to the Queen’s speech this Christmas, here you go:

I do love Christmas, but I’m strongly against its commercialisation. It’s standard by about let’s say September, to start being seduced by festive cheer.
I was speaking to a friend a few days ago and they said they now needed to buy a present for someone as that person had given them a present!
Surely this isn’t what Christmas is about? We don’t give to receive? I doubt whether that person was expecting a present back, but what’s this obligation that we may feel to return giving a gift?

Also, tell me, why do adults still send Christmas cards if all you’re going to write in a card is the addressee’s and the sender’s names? Save the trees please!

But then again, what’s with the blanket “Happy Christmas” texts you get? Nice sentiment, thanks, but what is your unpersonalised message trying to convey anyway?

Back to gifts giving:
In my house we didn’t really grow up with a whole sack of Christmas presents. My mum made sure she burst the Father Christmas bubble pretty early on in my childhood. I watched a child opening hers this Christmas. As each wrapper was uncovered, there was a half second coo and then each present was literally dashed to the side in anticipation of opening the next one.

I got a whole load of presents this Christmas… Dare I say “unasked”for ones too, as that’s the politest way of putting it. If you don’t know my dress sense, my palate or jewellery likes or dislikes then please please don’t distress your bank account. Maybe I’m hardly impartial to express my views as receiving gifts isn’t one of my love languages, but it was truly hard to feign satisfaction.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Why are you so ungrateful?”
I’m not really. I’m just very practical. Give me something that I need or really want so that I can do something useful with it.
And then you say to me, “Christmas is about families coming together- good food, good laughter, good times.”
Well the blog isn’t going to turn into a “Think about all those people who have lost loved ones or don’t have family to celebrate with .” Not my axe to grind this year…
But good food? Don’t make me cry. This year saw the reappearance of the dreaded turkey in my family home. Even my mum actually said “You might wanna arm yourself with some salt n pepper for the dry bird!” Why oh why didn’t we just leave that terrible tradition alone? Not one morsel will pass my lips unless I wanna be dry coughing for the next half an hour.
Funny as I’m writing this post, my Dad has just walked into the living room saying “It’s tasty. Tastier than ordinary chicken. ” (Must be his age).
Mum responds “I should’ve cooked it with wine.” What???
Which brings me to my next observation…
Yeah, this Christmas I’ve just found out my family are “serious”alcohol imbibers. Maybe that’s an exaggeration. But let’s just say even the ginger wine at the table was 13.5% alcohol volume, and my parents and sis were able to swop recommendations on which alcoholic drinks they like. Nobody gets drunk at mine, and I get to pass up alcohol for other reasons, but perhaps it was the alcoholic flow that caused me to hear some stories that I’ve never ever heard from my parents in the 30plus something years I’ve been alive-including about my straight laced law-abiding Dad getting arrested!!
On the plus side, we sat round a patch of the dinner table on beautiful wooden chairs surrounded by the clutter/hoarding of my Nigerian parents. (The hoarding of my parents will be for another day…)Whilst it was seriously awkward for me, as I can’t remember the last time we sat around a dinner table in at least the last 20 years, eventually I got into the swing of things.  Especially when my sister got on her soapbox joined by my dad on matters of a political persuasion.

Contrary to my Instagram post this Christmas, I’ve done very little hibernating and watching of Netflix and BBC iPlayer. There’s just too much to do and going on in the world to bury one’s head in a whole lot of make believe on one’s electronic devices.
But I have done a lot of contemplating and spiritual preparation in anticipation of 2018. So you might very well be justified in asking  “What’s your problem with Christmas if you get time off from work to holiday, refresh, see family and friends and set goals for the new year?”

My biggest problem with Christmas is this:
It’s traditional to say “Happy Christmas ” at this time of the year.  But every single day we should be saying “Happy Christmas “. I really believe this. Because everyday we should remember that without Jesus being sent as the saviour to the world, we would all be lost. No hope, no redemption for our sins, no relationship with God the Father. And when it comes to gifts? The best gift that can ever be given has already been sent. Jesus. Nothing will ever compare to that.

Happy Christmas!

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