Charles O’Sullivan ‘Chrimbo’

A very special treat this Christmas Eve – a guest post by Charles for the season that’s in it. Enjoy. Part of the Selection Box series.

Photo owned by Rojer (cc)

I’ve never been one for Christmas; call me a Grinch or something analogous to Scrooge (preferably politely) but I’ve never seen the fuss – it haunts for you for months before, pressuring you to buy the perfect gift and feel joyous 24/7 and even after, the residual haunts conversations with “so what did you get up to?” and “belated happy New Year!” (though that’s a separate issue). I might be negative, skeptical or simply unfriendly but when I’m told to be happy and positive by someone who can’t justify it beyond “but it’s Christmas!”, or yet another ad pimping out a shop’s goods like it’s the Apocalypse, I tend to act with complete and utter disdain. Worse still, it always leads to being sequestered with my family for an unhealthy amount of time staring blankly while we scramble for an used topic of small talk.

Perhaps it’s something going back to being a child, I was never inclined towards religion so the general association I had with December was presents, something that swiftly ended when I was about eight or nine when I awoke to discover one gift instead of my usual two gifts. Instead, I found one followed by my parents performing an unceremonious drive-by shooting on Santa (and I’m sure for the sake of efficiency, the Easter Bunny) to explain the lack of another. From there on in, it become procedural, Christmas had to be done in order to keep going. Like taxes, with the same systematic theft of your money and doubt surrounding it’s subsequent value.

Yet, this year seems to be different; I’ve done everything to avoid thinking about the whole occasion during the true festive season that I had all by presents bought and divided up by the end of November. I started studying for January exams in October. All these things were simply to enter fully decorated shops with pushy sales people and all the other repulsive necessities related to the madness but seem to have given me more time to think about what it can actually mean. For once, I’m actually evaluating what I can personally make of the holiday I once loathed more than Valentines, Mother, and Fathers day combined. I don’t enjoy sentimentality, generally it elicits laughter or antagonism more than anything, but without Thanksgiving (not including the mass slaughter of an indigenous people that followed) to celebrate, perhaps Christmas is now becoming that time of year I can be thankful for everything that’s going right. Yes the economy is shit and the political climate is as inept as its ever been but overall, it’s been a good year – I get to finally graduate with my LLB, it looks like I’ll get to do what I want after it’s over and my personal life is overall, the best in memory. So I won’t be buying into the immaculate conception or wanton consumerism but maybe, I might just to be able to focus on what’s good and aim for another year of the same, playing white noise in my head to block out the rest…

… Then again, ask me after I’ve escaped the cabin fever to see if I feel the same.

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