That is probably a bit of an exaggeration.
I have come far, you see. I can now enter a shop with Christmas Carols playing, and not have the extreme urge to vomit/run screaming from the store/cry. In fact, yesterday, I even sang along to "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", in my special supermarket singing voice. I even bought a lame Christmas t-shirt and have worn it to an event.
I even plan on buying cards, writing in them, and giving them to people! Along with home-made baked goods.
I call that progress, friends. Put a red hat on me and wrap me in goddamn tinsel.
Yet I still find Christmas a bit trying. I have learned, rather than to be sucked underneath by a feeling, to ask myself why I am feeling it. It is from here that enlightenment comes.
- Historically, Christmases were a bit trying, or a bit lonely.
- It is a time when I have to deal with my immediate family en masse. Though we are not hostile, there are fundamental differences which cause discomfort and friction.
- I am not really comfortable with the excesses and the waste afterwards. Food in the bin and presents you have no conceivable reason to use.
- The crowds in the shops, the marketing, the lack of parking - it's all just overwhelming.
- People driving like arsehats.
- One tends to reflect on the year as a whole, on what one has done versus what one wished for a year ago.
- Recently, the trouble in the world - it can feel a bit crass to celebrate.
- I remember some of the better Chrissies we had as kids, with the extended family, full up on turkey and ham, playing Cricket in the backyard.
- Have randoms/friends as well as family members around. These keep everybody on their best behaviour.
- My family have had a no xmas present policy, except for littlies. It's great, and takes the stress offa everyone.
- I do the other shopping online. I buy, where possible, experiences rather than things.
- I go to the shops at non-busy periods.
- I plan meals around leftovers, and choose things that will keep a few days, to minimise food wastage.
I was at a Christmas lunch on the weekend. Each year, my PhD supervisor throws a party, buys pressies for the littlies, and has one of the blokes dress up as Santa to give the pressies out. This year my fella got the tap on the shoulder. I just want to say that my fella rocked it as Santa, the kids loved him, and he even nailed the Santa voice. One kid was most impressed with the fact that Santa wore Converse kicks. It freakin' well made my day.
Anyway - what are you guys up to?
Any other coping strategies?
Best Chrissy Evah?