CALM writer Richard does his best Scrooge impression and cuts those Christmas ‘classics’ down to size…
The Christmas season now seems to commence on or around October 24th. It is around then that we are first subjected to the usual sentimental Christmas adverts by major retailers and the first tawdry tinsel is draped feebly in shop windows. It is also around then that the first tingle of anxiety and foreboding start to wriggle into my consciousness. Christmas is approaching remorselessly and there is nothing I can do about it.
When young, I regarded it as a magical time. Although I never fell for the Santa propaganda, it did seem a period bedecked in bunting and fantastical with fairy lights. Even rushing down in the morning to prise open a tiny square on my Advent calendar, revealing a deeply unconvincing reindeer, could send me into paroxysms of fevered excitement.
As I grew older, the Christmas period was more often besprinkled, if not drowned, in oceans of booze; from about the 22nd December to the 2nd of January, I was mired in a miasma of alcohol fumes. All I had to show for it was the odd vague, confused memory – an ill-judged remark on the 23rd; falling down in an alleyway on the 27th; a mysterious, livid bruise on my inner right arm gained some time on the 29th…
Nowadays, Christmas Day feels like an amalgamation of all the dreary and uneventful Sundays of the year.
Can music save Christmas? It is, after all, the time for the traditional beloved Christmas carols and the old pop favourites of yesteryear, resurrected and played to death on the radio and in shops. However, now that I harbour a far more jaundiced and world-weary approach to Christmas and all its irksome trappings, I find myself reacting in the following irascible manner to these festive tunes:
“It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – please furnish me with incontrovertible evidence for this unfounded and arbitrary assertion.
“Ding Dong Merrily on High” – cease your interminable and overpoweringly annoying ding-dongery.
“Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way” – you leave me no alternative but to inform the local noise abatement officer. Expect a visit shortly.
“The Holly and the Ivy” – what do you expect me to do with such wretched foliage?
“Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Wine” – the wine is corked and of an inferior vintage and the mistletoe is frankly inedible.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – don’t bore me with the colour scheme of this ghastly quadruped’s proboscis.
“Hark the Herald Angels Sing” – I refuse to pay heed to the ceaseless brayings of those cumbrously-winged beings.
“Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart” – I fail to recall you proffering such a distasteful and almost certainly illegal gift. Socks please this year.
“Once in Royal David’s City” – I expect once was more than enough in that contemptible metropolis.
“Don We Now Our Gay Apparel” – Not so. I am clad in drab and unostentatious garb, thank you very much.
“Little Donkey Carry Mary Safely On Her Way” – clambering aboard a malignant, malnourished ass while heavy with child verges on the criminally negligent. See you in court.
“Oh, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” – such a longing renders you unfit to hold public office. Bother us no more.
“Silent Night” – a vain hope with police helicopters droning overhead, car alarms screeching, foxes emitting unearthly yelps, revellers bellowing inanities beneath my bedroom window. Don’t be facetious.
“Are You Hanging Out Your Stockings on the Wall?” – I possess no such garment and, even if I did, wouldn’t put it on public display for voyeurs to gawp at.
“Fairtytale of New York” – OK, I’ll let you have that one, it’s a classic.
“In Dulce Jubilo” – Eh?
Despite this parade of negativity, I still hope that this year’s festivities can actually pass without too much mental struggle and emotional turbulence. I may regain some of that childhood magic and wonder and find some joy and happiness. It is possible, especially if I avoid the Birds of a Feather ‘Christmas Special’.
Photo credit: RevRuth
About the author
I love art, history, theatre, natural history, music, Derby County and birdwatching. I am passionately interested in all mental health issues and also in animal welfare issues.
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