The BUZZ

Yet ANOTHER damn Christmas article…

Posted on: 08/12/2009

by Tim Manton

It’s that time of year again, when every article includes “It’s that time of the year again” somewhere near the front – like some horrific ideology of clichéd media (that ISN’T Katie Price or Princess Diana).

When children begin eyeing up the local GAME like some underage orgasmic fantasy, when their parents become obsessed with the wine-section at every supermarket they visit; when the primary/secondary schoolteachers decide that what everyone needs, is a week spent watching the same tedious movie in five different rooms (those are the times being absent actually improves your education).

The Christmas Lights arrive in town to great expectation, and turn out to have less glamour than Marcus Fenix’s backside – which, as those who’ve played Gears of War will agree, is pretty uninspiring (even in high-definition).

Let’s face it: these days, the religious aspect of Christmas really isn’t that big a deal. In a world where the coming of Christ takes back-seat to that of Modern Warfare 2, December 25th’s main appeal is the fact that other people buy stuff for you…and the food, of course. The traditional shiz, like putting up a tree and decorating the house, is more for the novelty of being giddy about bright lights and shiny objects without the assistance of booze – well, for a while anyway.

It’s a tradition in the same sense that Easter is traditional; an excuse to be mildly religious, eat a lot and reinforce the good-feeling. Jesus isn’t so much a plot-feature as an idea, the Easter bunny is about as religious as the ideals behind Scientology, and it’s fairly obvious that chocolate eggs don’t feature in the Bible (unless your human source of general knowledge was extremely thick, and probably fat).

The weird thing about Christmas is that everything appears to be more than it actually is. You spend those months building up to it feeling excited despite yourself (“It’s THAT time of the year again!”), as if it’s going to start snowing at any minute (which would be pretty damn cool). Unfortunately, the last few days are the most boring, most excruciating days of the year – it doesn’t snow, most of the shops are closed, and your mind has gone numb from all the excitement. All that’s left is the TV, and even that haunts you with reminders of the “big event”.

And then it’s gone. The day flies past quicker than Tinkerbell on coke (unless you go to great, great lengths in producing the mother of all hangovers during Christmas Eve), a morbid reminder of the phrase “Good times go fast”.

And if you’ve never been told that by someone the day before you go back to school, it’s like ordering the latest Devildriver album and getting the biography of Pete Wentz; any excuse to punch the idiot responsible is a blessing.

The Times Online’s homepage is an exemplar of good-natured seasonal cheer: “Tiger Wood’s fleeing angry wife” and “Rumsfield blamed for failing to kill cornered Bin Laden”. While shops introduce “Christmas deals” in November, and the lights go up in town way ahead of last year’s time, the press is writing about bad things to remind everyone that the world hasn’t changed a bit.

At the same time, we have small children waiting for a hairy old man to climb down the chimney, who supposedly: sneaks into their bedroom, has a glass of wine (and the odd carrot), places small gifts into oversized socks at their bedside, sneaks back out, scales the chimney, climbs back into his sleigh and repeats the process in over a million other homes around the world (all during one night).

The world’s asking you to feel gullible, for all manner of reasons; be it religion, sales, the media, or people okay with the idea of some antisocial old git lurking in the darkness at their children’s bedside (so long as he gives them “presents“).

Personally, I’d stick with the pie and tell myself it’s bloody Christmas a few days earlier than last year.

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