Christmas: A season for… nah, forget it!

Opinion Uncategorized

As most people cosy up with their drinks, presents and for those who don’t have satellite television, board games; others are plotting the downfall of a sacred annual institution.

Ah, the festive season is with us one again.

A time for plenty of Ho, Ho, Hos or maybe No, No, Nos!

Is the 25 December a special time for celebrating the love and mutual respect of family and friends with the professed ideals of caring, sharing and other notable concepts of humanity or just an enforced extravagant charade of well being amidst a global economic and social nightmare?

Let us start by analysing the Christmas party season.

The coming of the month of December typically brings with it a veritable bounty of parties, drinks, get-togethers, and soirees.

Ever year it is the same for a high percentage of the adult population.

A collective impulse and need to over eat, over drink and over be merry.

On an optimistic level December’s gatherings – from the first party through to Christmas Day itself – can indeed be a great time to get into the "spirit" of things.

"Spirit" being the affable acknowledgment of your fellow planet dwellers.

And there is certainly a good element of this in meeting colleagues, friends and family in well-meaning, well-wishing scenarios it’s… Christmas, of course, stupid!

The problem is the older one gets the more one gets the feeling of bein knowingly coerced into a false sense of utopia.

Take the Christmas work party.

Sure it’s nice for your employer to organise a staff get together in an informal environment and dispose of the usual formal barriers.

But the one-day commitment highlights the slightly shambolic essence of such occasions. And this is possibly the biggest moot point about the festive season – it is so blatantly transient.

The actions of your firm can be bordering on the unscrupulous the year round yet expect bygones to be eradicated with a glass of cheap wine and a mince pie.

Similarly, colleagues feel the need to be over-the-top social butterflies, shedding their more natural rank and file daily dispositions to become over-ardent confidence monsters to rise to the occasion.

At the expense of been labelled a humbug, killjoy or manic-depressive at criticising a period when many people do make an effort, it is exactly because I am paradoxically a humanist at heart that I hold such strong views.

The spirit of looking out for and caring for your fellow man should not be a seasonal affiliation, but rather an evenly spread-out affair.

Imagine taking all the Christmas spirit from December and spreading it out over the year. Simple goodwill to all men.

Sure enough when Christmas day was first conceived in the Christian/Judean sense it did actually mean something and still does to many followers of associated faiths.

But now the holy figure has been resoundingly usurped by a chap called Santa Claus, secular societies have alternative rationales.

Above all else it is the commercial side of Christmas, which is its biggest travesty.

It is on a par with that other hideously conceived concoction "Valentines Day" or "Be good to you partner for a Day" day.

From the earliest TV adverts announcing the availability of new toys and the-must-have-in-time-for-Christmas purchases to the all-the-trimmings Christmas Day requirements, the average costs are becoming quite staggering – and they rise year-on-year.

Something on the conservative side of £13 billion will be spent in the UK alone this December.

£13 billion! Take a small percentage of this and give it to some good causes and not to the less benevolent corporate world and the spirit of Christmas could mean something other than turkey, presents and financial flights of fantasy.