I do. I really, really do.
Turu comments that they appreciate reading ‘a grandmaster’s thoughts’. Well, this seems as good an invitation as any to have a rant about the festive season.
As I prepare to leave tomorrow for a very merry Christmas in Perth, I’m hoping this rather unmerry post will help rid my psyche of its Christmas grinchiness, at least long enough to impress the future in-laws. Unsurprisingly, I’m sure my upbringing has something to do with my Ho-Ho-Phobia: my family never celebrated Christmas , and I was always taught to be somewhat cynical of a commercialised pagan festival. (Once, my sister, during a grade one Christmas decoration making lesson, proudly announced to her fellow five year olds that Santa wasn’t real.) These days, however, I have no moral objections to the celebration of the festival itself, so I can only assume my December 25 teeth-grinding is some sort of negative Pavlovian response.
Psychology aside, I ventured out yesterday for my first-ever attempt at Christmas shopping. Man, how do you guys handle this every year?! I even overlooked Canberra Civic for the quieter Woden (for those unfamiliar, Woden is the Siberia to Canberra Civic’s Moscow). Two hours of torture ensued, in which I watched kindly old ladies snatch wrapping paper from my very grasp, and attempt to bargain for the last gift of its kind on the shelf. And the carols! Don’t get me started on the carols. It’s possibly because we could never listen to them as a kid, or possibly just because they’re so amazingly bad, but they urk me to my very core. (I’ve been warned by Fi that I have 6am carols at full volume to look forward to at her parents’ place, so apparently either earplugs or a very strong sedative will be necessary to survive the trip.) And what are all these respectible artists doing putting out this Christmas garbage, I ask you? The only saving grace this year is A Christmas Dual, a darkly comedic ballad featuring Cindy Lauper – worth a listen, but bear in mind the strong (yet hilarious) language.
To top it all off, I have a little gripe to raise with Westfield shopping centres. Well, I have more than one, but now I have a specific Christmassy one. I noticed to my discomfort that Santa was holding photo shoots on the ground floor of David Jones, and all the little, happy, blissfully naive kids were lining up to get their picture snapped with the scragly, obese, Coca-Cola-created symbol of the season. To my astonishment, not more than fifteen metres from the scene, Westfield had its own Santa shoot just outside the ground floor entrance. The two Santas could almost see eye to eye! Now, if I was an astute six year old (one that was allowed to visit Santa in the first place, I should add), I’d have some serious questions to ask. For one, where was the disclaimer that I was getting a photo with an imposter? By way of comparison, if I scored a 15 minute interview with Obama or K-Rudd, just to find out that I was actually interviewing his body double, I’d be seriously peeved. Not only that, but the hypothetical me as a kid would also want confirmation that at least one of the Santas was real, and not both imposters. This would lead to me asking a series of probing questions to both Santas, possibly followed by some investigative research on Google – at which point I would discover that Santa was created by Coca-Cola, and subsequently turn my addictive habits to Pepsi, or possibly crack cocaine. That’s right: Westfield’s rookie Christmas error could be sending Australia’s children to drugs. I know there are a few logical flaws in my argument, but I would argue that Christmas also has its fair share.
I could probably continue to rant about Christmas for some time, but I’ll spare those of you who actually enjoy the season. I suppose it’s not all bad – public servants do get holidays from Christmas until the New Year. The irony of supposedly non-partisan Governmental officers taking time off to celebrate the incorrect date of birth of the Christian Messiah is not lost on me, but I appreciate the time off all the same.
In other, less angsty news, I can now do 70 push-ups on the trot. Making triple figures in a week is still a long shot, particular because I’m apparently expected to eat and drink a lot on Friday, but it’d be nice to knock off a 2010 resolution before the starting gun.
To you all, I wish a very happy (and thus necessarily blissfully ignorant) holidays. What a season!