Thursday, 13 May 2021

I can't get that pesky song out of my head

CAN you believe it? The Christmas scrum has well and truly begun. And even though there are still some brave autumn leaves hanging on for dear life to their cold-looking branches, the TV insists on screaming at us, a la Noddy Holder: “It’s Chriiiiiiii-stmaaaaaaaaas! So buy up big, you miserable old so-ods!”

Honestly, everything just seems so obvious and blatant and distinctly unmagically transparent to me this year.

I mean, is it just me or is this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad not remotely tear-jerking? Maybe I’ve simply developed a hide as tough as an armadillo’s and a heart as cold as a fridge, but to me it looks like one big flagrant display of commodity fetishism. And it doesn’t even make you go “awwww”.

Still, I suppose that ad is a microcosm of the true meaning of Christmas; the blind hope and mouth-watering anticipation followed swiftly by the inevitable disappointment and bitter regret.

Or am I thinking of Christmas dinner?

It may well be the most wonderful time of the year, though, because you can spend all your hard-earned and long-saved dough on a load of rubbish that won’t make it to Boxing Day, let alone New Year’s Eve and there’s always hope you might finally get what you want for once without having to change either the size or colour.

But I’m not falling for any of it. Not this year. Not after last year’s break-neck descent into penury thanks to my determination to give the kids a great Christmas, despite their parents’ divorce being finalised.

But what giving the kids a great Christmas had to do with forking out for a deluxe Scalextric set that was too big to fit anywhere in our tiny cottage of doll’s house proportions is still beyond me. Especially since Cookie jumped on the tracks and gnawed one of the cars to death within seconds of me setting the whole blasted thing up on the living room floor.

So let’s take a look at the most cheesy song in the world about this time of the year and break it down into bite-sized Scroogey chunks, shall we?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’ve already begun singing this, despite the hard fact that there are only 12 days of Christmas — and none of them is in November.

With the kids jingle belling I imagine this is just another Christmassy way of describing non-stop bickering and ramped-up sibling rivalry — now with added tinsel.

And everyone telling you be of good cheer. In other words, stop yelling at those poor kids endlessly jingle belling and at least try to put on a happy face.

There’ll be parties for hosting. Not at my house there won’t. Even though the Eleventeen-Year-Old is hell-bent on throwing a Christmas do and has already drawn up a comprehensive list of people to invite, tunes to play, hors d’oeuvres to serve and decos to hang.

She has even put these lists on the fridge, totally unaware that it’s a veritable graveyard for party invitations, school trip reminders and completely ignored motivational quotes on magnets.

Marshmallows for toasting. Well — if there are any left over from the hot chocolates the kids and I have been quaffing for months now. Which there aren’t.

And carolling out in the snow? Ha! What snow? And who’s Carol?

I could go on, but I think you catch my drift.

It’s like Christmas is but a big. two-month booze-up followed by a hangover that starts with that familiar refrain “why, why, in the name of all that’s gracious and holy, WHY?!” and ends 10 months later when it’s time to lose our minds in the melée of consumer madness all over again.

I suppose all I really want for Christmas is a laugh with the kids and The Ex in front of a roaring fire. And some yummy roasties. No, really — carbs are fine at Crimbo. Just a nice time with the family, that’s all I’m after.

Well… that and a course of lasering on my jet black hag hairs before they turn snow white with age and the kids start calling me Santa Claus all year round.

But that’s another story…

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