Christmas Bitching

Ian Wasia lays out the law: He ain’t the Grinch. But he’s just as bad.


There are some things I don’t understand. Love, for instance, I can’t grasp. (Personally I think anyone that says they understand love is a liar.) But one thing that continues to confound me, without it being a theoretical ideal of human emotion, is Christmas. I have never been a “Christmas person,” but I’m not exactly the Grinch either. My problem is that there seems to be a far reaching consensus to deny any problems with the event; everyone just turns a blind eye to the faults and idiocies that seem so obvious to me. So here I ask you, the reader, can you explain the reason why Christmas is not just tolerated but liked?

Firstly, I would like to say emphatically: I am not an environment freak. I care about as much as the next person about the planet (which isn’t very much) and not an iota more. Consider that literally every day we are reminded that we are killing the planet. Reduce, reuse, recycle, don’t litter, don’t drive, don’t leave your house but don’t turn on anything inside that consumes power, and don’t you dare exhale that filthy carbon dioxide. Yet from December 15 to January 5 none of this seems to matter anymore. Instead we seem to buy as much crap (and make no mistake 99% of it is crap) that our overdrafts will allow and wrap this frivolous drivel in trees that have been cut very thinly and painted shiny. Seriously, most of these presents/hindrances will end up clogging a landfill somewhere, and much of the wrapping will go straight into the bin, not the recycling, because we are too preoccupied with admiring the shit other people deemed we needed.

How many times this week have you seen an advertisement telling you not to leave your lights on? Or trying to get you to buy one of those remotes for the wall sockets? I counted (because I’m weird that way) and stopped after 12 (because my weirdness is not stronger than my lack of an attention span) in the last three days. Yet around Christmas we decide to drape millions of tiny lights all over our houses, ignoring the fact they are often gaudy and always wasteful. We are told to replace every light that serves an actual purpose inside our house with those terrible energy efficient ones that take an hour to heat up, and even then never really get bright enough to make you feel that we have technologically surpassed the candle, but I have never seen energy efficient fairy lights, have you? (If anyone out there wants to patent the idea go on ahead just send me a line so I know I’ve passively done my bit for the world and can now watch TV after 12.) And aren’t we only allowed to leave our lights on like twenty minutes a day? This may be extended if you’re performing surgery and there’s a complication (quadruple bypasses are tricky I hear), yet no one bats an eyelid if someone leaves a thousand lights draped to their walls on all night. What purpose do they serve? The only person who is out at 4:30 on a Tuesday does not deserve light.

Imagine 30 years from now when you’re living half-way up a mountain because the sea level has risen and the peaks are irradiated by the sun. There’ll be no electricity or indoor plumbing, and food will be scarce and unappetising. You’ll say to your kid: “Sorry Billy, we fucked up. But at least you got that action man when you were six.” Imagine if little Billy had not got that action man! That would’ve been a real disaster! You saved his innocence by allowing him that one magical memory of Christmas. That was until 2 years later when he found out you were too lazy to block the porn channel, but at least you had those two years of innocence…

Someone told me once that Santa (the commercial God of Christmas) was originally green, and that Coke bought him and turned his suit red. Personally, I think Santa took off his green suit out of shame for what was being done to the planet in his name (or maybe he just started bathing in the blood of the naughty, I don’t know). Everyone turns into an accepting fool, mass hysteria grips the nation. And for what? Trinkets? False promises of happiness? I am trying to be logical and understanding, but I cannot find anything to redeem Christmas. I do not hate Christmas for no reason; I hate it because it has no reason. After all, why bother doing something when not doing something is always easier?

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