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What does the universe have in store for you? Let’s find out.
Make your own traditions. For several years running I sent real Christmas cards to internet friends who I only knew online. Postage is prohibitively expensive so in the end I had to stop. Even so that didn’t stop people from sending their replies. Some years I get more Christmas cards from people all over the world than I do from my family and friends back home. Underneath all the snark and sarcasm in truth I’m trying to connect with friendly creative humans anywhere in the world. That’s a noble tradition that’s worth pursuing at any time throughout the year.
Friends: I’ll be up north for Christmas. Burglars: my Pit Bull won’t. Before you send me email about this the Pit Bull is imaginary and I’d never abandon a pet. I dreamt a salesgirl showed me a cute little blue camera that was really a living Transformer robot in disguise. Now on my Christmas to do list: Kidnap Santa. What have you got left to do this year? Have you sorted out your playlist of Christmas Music? Trick question. There’s never a good time to play Christmas music! *shudder* As far as I’m concerned there’s only one good Christmas song. That’s Fairytale Of New York by Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues. Whatever else you do: Keep Calm and Enjoy Christmas!
Christmas Dinner gives me the heebie jeebies. Is it wrong that I look forward to shoving oranges up a duck’s arse? Strictly from a culinary perspective, you understand, nothing kinky. I’ll probably spend Christmas day spooning and stuffing a greasy fat bird but my sex life is none of your business. The bane of my existence was brussel sprouts. I’d eat them at Christmas on condition that I didn’t have to eat them again the rest of the year. Last year my family forgot to cook them on Christmas Day and I was so obviously relieved that they took pity on me and decided I no longer have to eat them at all.
Do you hate Secret Santa? At my last job, without expressing my feelings on the subject, I was branded as some sort of Christmas-hating monster. As they planned Secret Santa they’d say to me stuff like: “You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. We know you hate Christmas.” Secret Santa is the social obligation to go somewhere you don’t want, to spend money you don’t have, on buying people you dislike stuff they don’t need. The best gift you can give someone is to free them from the obligation to give gifts. Now I know what to get you for Christmas. Metaphorically I mean.
This year you ought to explore the Pagan roots of Christmas. If nothing else read up on Krampus the half-goat half-demon who punishes naughty children. You might spend Christmas hiding under your bed. Some say it’s not the right time to learn about such things. Fictional characters used to mock-celebrate a misappropriated Pagan festival in the name of a dead religion? Christmas is exactly the right time. Instead of decorating my Christmas tree with baubles and tinsel I’d rather decorate it with the heads and innards of my enemies. And, when you think about it, it’s more traditional too. Have a super Saturnalia. Krampus is coming to town!
This Christmas Eve: Be kind to each other, spend time with your loved ones, and watch Die Hard. Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho. Die Hard’s my favourite Christmas movie. Some people have made a tradition out of watching it every Christmas Eve. To me Die Hard’s the perfect Christmas film. I mean it’s no White Chistmas or Santa Conquers the Martians but it’s still a Christmas film. What films remind you of Christmas? Gremlins is etched into my brain, I know Princess Bride by heart, and Scrooged is usually on Netflix. Once I even watched Ant-Man. Don’t judge me.
One Christmas I found out that my Dad didn’t remember watching The Princess Bride. *mic drop* Inconceivable! It’s like finding out there isn’t a Santa Claus. Wait, you didn’t hear that from me. I’m just joking. Nearly had you going for a minute there, didn’t I? Anyway, I showed him the trailer and said: “Now do you remember?” He said: “Vaguely. It looks naff.” So I made my family watch The Princess Bride and they loved it. Which was of course the correct response. Miracles do happen. Christmas was saved. Was this a Christmas miracle? I’d like to think so.
Don’t let the crass commercialsation of Christmas debase the true value of joyous drunken sex, gluttony, and debauchery. Maybe explain why you can’t afford presents and agree to spend family time together instead. Where others see Christmas holidays you could see free time to spend on your plans for world domination. Please accept this advice in lieu of sending you a Christmas card — life’s too short to spend it shopping. I can’t afford Christmas cards this year so I’m donating money to charity and holding Skype chats with people instead. Happy Capitalistmas!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Doctor Who. Christmas. I meant Christmas. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. This time of year I have to stay offline or someone will spoil the Doctor Who Christmas Special for me. Spoilers! I usually record it. Christmas TV is notoriously bad so I like to have something to look forward to. I think one of the reasons I don’t watch much TV except for Doctor Who is people won’t shut up about it. It’s nonsensical if you stop to think about it and a bit of a letdown. I mean Doctor Who, of course, not the birth of Jesus.
You know something’s gone wrong with the world when it’s easier to buy crack on any street corner than to procure jam tarts for Christmas. When I was training as a journalist we met the Fleet Street Fox. But like when I met Santa, as a child, I spent some time wondering if it was really them. The Sun’s top story is probably going to be something horrendous like “Santa’s Sex Scandal Shocker.” Something to do with him coming once a year to empty his sack for the kids. Christmas is cancelled. I mean that in a good way. Don’t let the headlines ruin it for you.
I wrote a letter to God but never received a reply. God is next to Santa on my list of unreliable people. Why didn’t you bring me what I wanted for Christmas, God? Sorry, wrong fictional old-man-with-beard. If God asked you to sit on his knee and tell him what you want for Christmas the Bible would read very differently. I’ve got some bad news for you: God doesn’t exist. Santa doesn’t exist either. Get over it. You ever noticed how Santa is an anagram of Satan? I’m just saying. As a belligerent fat man I seem to have missed my calling in life as an evil Santa.
Try to get into the Christmas spirit this year. Ride a donkey, sleep in a barn, and lie about how you got pregnant. Spare a thought for those less fortunate than you this Christmas. You’ve got to admire those who volunteer to spend the holiday among the downtrodden, the needy, and dysfunctional social outcasts. But that’s family Christmas for you. I once tried to use the world supposedly ending on 21st December as an excuse to curtail visiting my folks for Christmas. Their response: “You won’t get out of it that easily.” Merry Christmas, everyone!
James Garside is an independent journalist and writer. Join Chapter 23 for the inside track on all their creative projects and insights about life, work, and travel. Subscribe to Asshole Astrology for regular horoscopes.