Monday, December 09, 2019

Christmas Fatigue

There came a point on Saturday when, standing in Crapchester town centre amidst the chaos that is the Christmas shopping season, that I just wanted it to all be over.  Christmas, that is.  Well, not Christmas itself, but all this bloody madness that surrounds it.  Even as I wished it all over, feeling that I had reached the end of my tether, I remembered that I still had stuff to wrap when I got home.  This year the hectic bit came early for me as, for reasons I'm not going to go into, I had to get all my present buying done, stuff wrapped and distributed by this past weekend.  The strain on both my mental state and wallet have been tremendous.  While everything is now done and dusted, I'm left feeling exhausted but still facing another couple of weeks at work before I get some time off over Christmas.  Hopefully the weariness will wear off over the next week or so, as I would like to enjoy Christmas.  As I said, it's all the insanity which surrounds the season these days which gets me down.  I don't know if the Christmases of my childhood really were simpler than the ones now, or whether they just seemed simpler because I was perceiving them through a child's uncomplicated world view.

It's probably a sign of encroaching age, but there are times that I find myself yearning for those Christmases of yore.  I miss the old tinsel Christmas tree that the cat had an irrational hatred for, not to mention the smell of those ancient paper streamers my father used to put up in the living room every year.  That's when we knew that Christmas had arrived - when my dad got those decorations down from the attic.  Most dated from the fifties and sixties - they included some glass Christmas tree baubles which were far superior to anything you can get now - and there were rarely further additions.  I'm sure today that they would be condemned as a fire hazard, bearing in mind that so many were basically coloured paper.  But nostalgia is a wonderful thing, because the truth is that many of those Christmases weren't that great.  At their worst they involved far too many people crowded together in the house for several days with all the associated temper fraying and irritations.  Some of them were downright miserable, with squabbling siblings and furious family arguments.  All of which, of course, is why I tend to spend Christmas by myself these days - I enjoy the tranquility.

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