Monday, December 8, 2008
And so this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun (nearly).
At the risk of gaining instant grinchhood, labeled a Scrooge McDuck or worse, a kiljoy - I'm afraid this is going to be my bah humbug Christmas post. To be blunt -I'm not a huge fan of the New Zealand Christmas experience. After experiencing cold winter English Christmases I am even more aware of the fakery attached to our festivities. Is there anything more daft than a sweltering hot day and people dressed up like they come from the north pole? Fake snow and reindeer, tinsel and flashing lights on fake pinetrees do not float my boat.
I suspect this lack of Christmas cheer on my part is part of my DNA and is something I've unwittingly passed on to my children. I know dad shares my feelings of unease and I know Keegan and Jade do too. It's a tacky time in many ways.
Santa being an invention of coca-cola (nothing wrong with coke!) is appropriate given all the commercialism that runs riot as well. Unfortunately the feeling and religious significance (at least in New Zealand) runs secondary to how many tacky presents there are on offer. The staff Christmas function at school was a bizarre one in many ways, capped off with the 'secret Santa' gifts. I'm sorry - but a load of tatty $5 lolly packs or 'joke' gifts from the $2 shop doesn't move me. The fact I couldn't drink any alcohol because I was still feeling icky didn't help one bit either.
So is there anything good about Christmas? Well yeah, there are some things - some of my favourite movies are set at Christmas time (About A Boy, Love Actually, Die Hard, and der - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation). They take a largely irreverent view and acknowledge the tension inherent in the season - Die Hard has large scale violence and family disfunction at its heart - perfect. The National Lampooners have Chevy Chase attempting, and failing hilariously, to have an 'old-fashioned family Christmas' while putting up with unwelcome family 'guests'. Also perfect.
I also like some Christmas songs. Top 5 (oh who's kidding - there are only 5): Wonderful Christmas time - Paul McCartney; Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John and Yoko; Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Darlene Love; Listen, The Snow Is Falling - Yoko Ono - technically not a Christmas song but the B side to the awesome Happy Christmas (War is Over) and about snow which leads me to; Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow - Frank Sinatra. When I write them down I realise there's a lameness to each one but kitsch is the name of the game is it not?
The other good thing is the holiday - six good weeks of summer holiday is major project time. we've got some decorating to do as I ripped off a lot of wallpaper during the year (doh!), the roof needs painting and I want to build a bird aviary. All that and the normal repair jobs that I've saved up all year.
Books - the holidays will also be about reading (exciting huh). I've stored up quite a few books during the year and apart from the dull as dishwater educational stuff I should read I'm planning on getting into Sarum and the Lennon bio that Jade bought for me recently (comes with excellent reviews!) You'll remember a large chunk of this year was taken up with reading 'London' by Edward Ruthurford, well Sarum was his first humungous historical novel.
My next post will be more magnanimous I promise - until then I'm looking forward to school finally finishing for the year next week.
Before I go - Happy Birthday to Adam for today (11/12/08). He's 22 and I love him!
Love and peace - W