The holiday season: can’t get enough of it, or can’t wait for it all to be over already? Has your attitude toward the end-of-year holidays changed over the years?
The more I think, write and talk about Christmas, I have the feeling I have somehow changed into a modern day Scrooge. If Charles Dickens knew me, he would re-write his story but this time with a female Scrooge. I am not a Christmas hater but times have changed and today it is not just a source of mirth and enjoyment, but a commercial success.
The shelves in the shops are full of Christmas objects, mainly in plastic. I believe in the day of the real Scrooge you had a tree decorated with a few apples and some home made wooden ornaments. Today you can choose from so many colours and patterns that it resembles more a state of the art than something with meaning. I read in the local newspaper that the shops are having problems selling their Christmas Trees. The trees that were chopped down in their forests to display in a special container in the living room are no longer wanted. They sit outside the supermarket looking for a home, but find none. Today you buy imitation, perhaps plastic or some new form, as long as they do not shed their needles and you can put them away for next year. They might cost more, even a different colour, but they are worth it. When you have one, you have it forever, just a dust over when it arrives regularly in December from the attic. Somewhere a business man is rubbing his hands with glee making a profit on each tree that is sold.
I do not care, I do not really need a tree, but pro forma we have one. It sits on a cupboard in the corner, has no room to place gifts beneath the branches because it is too small. Where do I put the presents? I do not put the presents because I do not need this annual presenting things just for the sake of it. We stopped the present buying last year. Why run around in circles in the Christmas stress with other shoppers when you know what you want, so just buy it online or in a shop when it suits you. We share the stress and buy it ourself. Of course, when I was younger things were different. There were children and they had their wish lists prepared and there was a certain magic in fulfilling their wishes. I was a child and looked forward to the annual ceremony of giving.
Already at the end of October the shops begin filling their shelves with Christmas chocolate, christmas decorations, christmas card selections. I received my first Christmas card at the beginning of December, sent early from England to avoid the Christmas rush. I discovered with horror last week that there were only two weeks to Christmas, so I joined the Christmas stress club and bought my cards. I bought two packets, each containing five cards each with the same designs (they are cheaper in groups). Swiss cards are not so flashy as the English cards. They never have a rhyme, just a few words saying “Happy Christmas” in German. The cards were bought and I pushed myself into writing a few words, the same words every year and they were ready to go. They have to go to far away places, a different country, stamps have to be organised. Our village closed its one and only post office for economical reasons. Mr. Swiss went to the nearest town and bought the stamps. One week before Christmas my cards were on their way, but I very much doubt if they will arrive in time. i know some people that actually count how many cards they receive and check if everyone sent them one that should have sent them. I just do what is expected. Oh how I hate this Chrismas business, and it has become a business.
Of course I will be cooking the meals, special food for a special occasion. This does not bother me so much. I fought the battle of Christmas food shopping this morning and killed half the food I need. Everything is closed during the Christmas holidays so it has to be planned and bought now. Thank goodness our supermarket is open on Sunday this week, so I will then conquer the remainder. I wonder if the shop assistants enjoy working on Sunday, probably they do as they will be earning more than usual as compensation – I hope.
The TV is full of Christmas programmes, people dressed in Santa Claus outfits and some people even like to dress their pets in red fur trimmed coats with a nice Santa Claus hat to go with me. My felines hissed and said “don’t you dare”, so I did not dare. They have their catmas with an extra portion of tuna fish, but they do not appreciate the candles and other decorations.
I am now looking forward to a successful stressless Christmas. I do not need this, I prefer my days to be filled with normal boring events. I like to read my books, see what is happening on the computer and go to shops that are not bursting at the seams with Christmas shoppers in bad moods trying to complete their lists of things that they have to buy to keep everyone happy and in the mood.
I am in the mood, of course I am. What did Scrooge say “Bah Humbug” but after the visit of the 3 Christmas ghosts of past, present and future, he changed his mind. Just a minute, there is a knock at the door and I hear the rattling of chains, who cares, it is my 68th Christmas and I have survived it up to now. It is probably the three ghosts to see if there is any Christmas spirit left in the bottle.