Monday, 2 December 2013

The long and the short of Christmas

I was going to ignore the upcoming Yuletide Juggernaut for a little longer but now the radio has shoved the concept of  "Cyber Monday" into my ears, I might as well share a couple of observations people have made on the contemporary Christmas. Basically, the rubbish bits lasts far too long and its Unique Selling Point is far too short.

As Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote a while back, Christmas has won the phoney "war against Christmas" and launched a massive counter-attack which has reduced Autumn, formerly a perfectly good season in its own right, to a second-rate warm-up act, the tinsel-draped "run-up to Christmas."

Peter* looks at the central message of Christmas, the one hiding behind the all kitsch and consumerism, like a chocolate behind the door of an Advent calendar, and can't find anything at all to disagree with - except for one, rather fundamental, flaw:
Finally on this point, the central message of Christmas is "peace and goodwill to all mankind". It kinda strikes me that everyone should be doing that every day anyway: we don't need some day especially set aside to be nice, and then behave like little shits every other day of the year. 
I couldn't have put it better myself (which is why I'm quoting somebody else). If we're only aspiring to peace and goodwill for Christmas, what the hell do we think we're doing with the rest of the year?

*Who has decided not to "do" Christmas this year - a brave decision, because, however clearly he lets everybody know that he's not opposed to other people having fun and celebrating however they damn well like, there's you just know there's going to be some hard-of-thinking, ultra-conformist fun-Fascist out there who's going to take umbrage at anyone who dares to be different and declare people like Peter to be killjoys for not celebrating in the conventionally approved format.