Imagine you’re trapped in a nightmare alternate reality full of garish colours and irritating music, where you’re forced to spend all of your money, where everyone appears to have lost their mind, and all they want to do is repeat exactly what they did last year. And the year before that. And they desperately want you to join in. Again.
Now imagine this nightmare world is inescapable. That’s how I feel for two months, every single year. To quote Noddy Holder - it’s Christmaaaaas! And I hate it.
At first I try to ignore it – maybe it won’t bother me this year, I chirpily tell myself in vain. But then the decorations and signs start to appear: ‘Book your Christmas bucket at Chicken Cottage!’, ‘Buy your loved one an all-in-one Christmas slipper!’
Before you know it, it’s full-pelt snowy-bearded Wizzard and Shakin’ Stevens in his vile Xmas jumper twitching his rock ‘n’ roll leg."
Then the songs start – just a couple at first, half-heard while passing a shop doorway – then before you know it, it’s full-pelt snowy-bearded Wizzard, Shakin’ Stevens in his vile Xmas jumper twitching his rock ‘n’ roll leg, and Mariah Carey caterwauling and cantering in her dodgy Santa playsuit, all accompanied by the sound of jingle bells.
Jingle bells. The horrifying sch-sch-sch that follows you everywhere from mid-October like a gang of psychotic elves chasing you with baseball bats decorated with milk bottle tops. When giant alien spiders finally arrive on Earth to enslave us all, it will doubtless be to a jingle bell soundtrack.
And don’t start me on Christmas trees. Who in their right mind cuts down a perfectly healthy tree, sticks it indoors, dresses it up like Corrie’s Liz McDonald, then discards its poor brown skeleton in the street just after New Year? While you’re at it, you may as well jump in a gas-guzzling 4x4 and drag an old fridge to a landfill while stuffing as much Christmas food and drink down your neck as you can get your hands on, like some environment-ruining, sparkly foie gras goose.
What I object to is non-religious Christmas fans donning a tinsel scarf of cod-sentimentality once a year."
It’s not just that I don’t like Christmas – I don’t understand it. I can’t see why people want to surrender their lives to the same stultifying, boring routine year after year, with the longest build-up in history. And what’s so ridiculous is that it’s all over by mid-afternoon on Christmas Day. A giant, half-inflated yuletide let-down. Then the holiday and discount furniture adverts start on the TV, and we’re back onto the hamster wheel of the year again.
When I tell people I don’t like Christmas, they immediately think I don’t like the materialism of it. But I don’t object to the manic shopathon at all. In fact I like it. At least it’s honest, and keeps people in work and the tills ringing. I’m all for keeping the economy going.
What I object to is non-religious Christmas fans donning a tinsel scarf of cod-sentimentality once a year. Christmas is billed as the one time to think of others and spread good cheer, but surely if you need a ‘special day’ in the year to remind you to be a decent human being and nice to people, then you’re either borderline sociopathic, or you’re not fit to vote, have a bank account or operate any kind of machinery - even a sandwich toaster (which you will no doubt stuff with leftover turkey).
I hate Christmas films, I hate Christmas music, I hate Christmas TV. I hate the crushing inevitability of it all. Roll on January.
Tim Guest is BT.com homepage manager. Ironically, his favourite vegetables are Brussels sprouts.
This article is the opinion of Tim Guest and not necessarily that of BT.