Is Christmas Fantastic, Or Is It The Worst FML Of The Year?
Decorations turning up in October. That's just not right.
It's quite a strange apparition. We're just reeling from the warmth of Autumn (or Fall as it's known by Americans, because LEAF FALL DOWN) and we're just about done with Halloween when all of a sudden, this cold air starts surrounding us. And not only that but my local supermarket gets a vajazzle, what with the chocolate Santas, the glitter that would make Liberace blush and all sorts of oddly-themed decorations. You know the ones I mean, the movie tie-ins, the tinsel all around the booze section… I agree that we must be prepared for all sorts of unexpected eventualities, some that might never happen (like the fact that I carry a condom in my wallet, despite the fact that my chances of scoring are at an all-time low), but Christmas time has no surprise potential. It's the same day every year. Unless if this year it's on a Friday the 13th, people are superstitious and need to bet their shit together to buy everything they need several months in advance.
(IT'S TOO EARLY FOR ALL THIS, OKAY ?)
If you're in a public place and all of a sudden you hear Andy Williams singing "Happy Holidays" or Bing Crosby doing his famous "IIIIIIII'm dreaming of a whiiiite Christmas", you'll feel the lifeforce draining out of your body. However, it's interesting to note that people WERE saying "Happy Holidays" before racists (who probably want a different sort of white Christmas) started bleating on about people replacing "Merry Christmas" by "Happy Holidays" to avoid offending a Sikh.A.
In the UK (where I'm from), we have a long tradition of pop and rock songs all about Christmas. We all used to wonder which song was going to be that year's Christmas Number one. The practice has fallen by the wayside unfortunaly, probably because of Simon Cowell and his daft talent shows. But despite his evil efforts, every year, wherever you are, in supermarket or down the pub, you're bound to hear these classics:
This wonderful song by Wham!, with its magnificent video and magnificent hair-dos:
As well as this classic by Slade :
So, is Christmas crap in other parts of the world ?
Well, technically yes because a lot of people in other countries have different religions, other traditions and rituals, so don't go to abroad and wonder why they don't have Christmas decorations in their streets.
In France, they do play the Wham! song, as well as "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey on the radio, but very rarely has a rock band ventured into a French language version of a Chrismas song, because it's a huge market everywhere else, and there's money to be made. The only one I can think of is Les Avions :
Didn't you say that Christmas is an FML moment or something?
Some parts of it are nice if you've still got a bit of your inner child left, and it hasn't become jaded and cynical. The trees, the tinsel and the sparkly lights (put up on a reasonable date, of course) always fill our hearts with joy, especially after a year filled with FMLs. And if it snows, well that just makes everything become magical. I know some parts of the world are sick of the sight of snow, but in some places it's becoming more and more rare, due to that climate change thing that people claim doesn't exist. Bing's White Christmas is still a dream for a lot of us, unless you live in Canada or you have heavy dandruff issues.
(An extreme case of dandruff)
It's a family thing
The main problem at Christmas is the mandatory family time, having to sit through a meal with close relatives, including maybe your sister's new boyfriend, who talks with an affected Southern accent. And of course Uncle Pete, who spends the entire meal talking politics and never agrees with anyone who doesn't espouse the Fox News rhetoric. Oh, and the kids. The kids fighting over who got the best presents. This whole set-up is torture for someone with no particular political leanings, and who just wanted to drink a bit of champagne and slice the turkey.
(Look at them, arguing over a stuffed toy. Little shits)
Gift time! Give us our gifts!
Everyone complains about Christmas being nothing more than a spendfest, and people making lists, saying "I want this, I want that." It's really annoying, especially when it's your own parents making demands. We all have a budget and we try to stick to it, but these days no one is content with a pair of Snoopy socks, you have to take out a second mortgage to pay for what people in your life want, the niece who wants a light saber, the nephew who wants a Barbie Doll (he can have a Barbie if he wants, chill out), which does add up to a lot of money. My favorite gift is money. Give me money. My parents give me cash for Christmas, just about the right amount it costs me to get to their house and go through the rigmarole of the meal I described, and hear my niece say, "I wanted the green one, not the red one, waahaaaaaa". It's Hell I tell you.
("I wanted the red one, boo hoo")
Got any Pepto Bismol?
After an evening (or a lunch, depending on when you celebrate Christmas), your innards are shot to smithereens, your brain is riddled with alcohol, not to mention the neverending gassy farts (or is that just my grandmother?). This is why you need to prepare for such eventualities in advance : buy some Pepto Bismol, Tylenol, anything to soothe the pain… oh, and some Band Aids, just in case a fistfight breaks out somewhere between the cheese and the dessert.
(Uncle Pete had to bring up Bill O'Reilly's views on Muslims again)
Here at FML, we hope that none of this happens to you, and that you'll have a great Christmas.
If you don't, tell us about it. We'll be here!