I love everything about Christmas; the mandatory arrival of Terry’s Chocolate Orange in every supermarket from mid-September; Jamie Oliver and Kirsty Allsop’s annual festive offerings and Christmas music stalking my ears from one department store to the next. Utterly glorious.
It would appear, however, that my lustre for the season is not appreciated by all. Please observe:
The Savvy Shopper: While waiting in line to pay for a batch of Christmas gifts, I couldn’t help but overhear a customer getting into the spirit of things: “Excuse me, when do the sales start? The proper ones. The Boxing Day ones.”
The Alternative Nativity: A rather flustered mother discusses her complete disarray at her child’s part in the Christmas nativity: “Yes she’s been given her part in the nativity. A bloody woodlouse. She’s playing a woodlouse. No I don’t know where they featured in the birth of Jesus. Don’t laugh, we’ve got to make the bloody costume!” Even I was finding it tricky to put a festive spin on this one.
Joseph would be proud: A young girl runs onto the train with such enthusiasm, she causes the elderly woman opposite me to jump. Dressed in a full Virgin Mary costume, the young girl proceeds to crawl up and down the aisle, barking at every commuter she encounters (and at 5.30pm on a Wednesday, that’s a lot of commuters). Her mother, clearly at the end of her oh-so-patient tether, politely requests her daughter, “behaves like a lady.” The young girl, not content with being obedient, now begins meowing. Facetious? Yes. Entertaining? Completely. It’s at this point, the lady opposite me intervenes: “You wouldn’t see Mary crawling around, barking like a dog and meowing like a cat now, would you?”
But hilarity, glitter and Kevin McCallister giggles aside, it’s important not to forget the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but as a Christian, I like to think that the season of goodwill, it anything at all, makes us pause for thought and perhaps reevaluate our place in life. As tough a card we might think we’ve been dealt, there is no doubt, someone worse off. And let’s face it, you could have been spending the run-up to Christmas creating a woodlouse costume. Now that can’t be much fun.