Catching the Christmas Spirit
Christmas can be many things – a cosy family gathering, a delicious meal, too much boozy punch and even getting that expensive cashmere jumper you always wanted. (OK, I bought it for myself but it still counts).
Now ‘Christmas Spirit’ is another story. When people talk about the Christmas Spirit I get anxious. I know they’re on to something that is innately good and special and wonderful. Something I’m supposed to have … but don’t. So instead I get angry and envious, killing whatever Christmas Spirit I had left.
Don’t get me wrong – I delve into December with the fervour of a Santa elf on crack. I write traditional paper cards (for those I love), send email cards (for those I don’t), prepare Xmas pudding (I recommend Tesco’s Finest) and stock up on wine. Ask me to add ‘A little Christmas Spirit’ and I reach for the Rosé.
Take Christmas Crackers, for example. A fun way to break the ice and have a laugh, except if you lose. I’m so annoyed I wait for everyone to get drunk to steal the little gifts. Don’t judge me. Who doesn’t want a miniature screwdriver?
Then there’s Advent Calendars. My four year old niece has a chocolate one. Every day she opens a window containing a treat for her to eat. Considering her mum (my awesome sister) is at her wits end with the Christmas preparations, wouldn’t it make sense to replace the chocolate with sleeping pills? Just saying.
Christmas Gifts is another one. We’re supposed to immerse ourselves in the joy of giving! Never mind my aunt Alicia always gives me ‘The Thought That Counts’. It’s the lack of Christmas Spirit that makes me want to scream ‘You’re loaded! Buy presents you cheapskate!’
Christmas Trees aren’t so bad. I decorate my little conifer with love and attention. It looks great and I feel very pleased – until I see my neighbour’s tree which looks fit for the Royal Albert Hall. All of a sudden ‘Tree Rage’ takes over and I want to chop my tree for firewood. Where’s a bloody axe when you need one?
Finally The Christmas Carols. People put heart and soul into Jingle Bells. Me? I can’t stop my brain going into that old kid’s version:
Jingle Bells Batman Smells
Robin laid an egg
The bat mobile lost its wheel
And joker got away … hey!
Work colleagues go around with big, generous smiles saying things like ‘Isn’t it wonderful? It’s the Christmas Spirit! So catchy! It’s going around!’
Going around? Like the flu? Because I’ve caught two viruses this year and a tummy one to boot. Why isn’t the spirit infecting me? Maybe I’m resistant to it. Maybe I’m immune. Maybe this virus-like-spirit takes one look at me and says ‘Waste of time … too mean-spirited’.
Well fine! I don’t need it! I’ll create my own stupid Christmas Spirit without any bloody help!
And if you’re someone who has yet to catch that spiteful spirit – don’t wait around! Take a hands-on approach like me.
Here’s a list to get you started:
- Put a star on top of the Christmas tree – with your photo!
- Start the Christmas Speech by saying ‘I don’t want this to be all about me.’ Then make it all about you! Twenty minutes of you! You! You!
- Don’t buy gifts. Instead, let people know you have donated money to charity on their behalf. They won’t know whether to admire you or dislike you.
- Forget the Xmas Spirit. Buy spirits. Drink them.
- Gin is a personal favourite. Nothing beats waking up with GORDON at my side.
Feel free to add your own.
Sonia Aste is a comedian who is working on her personal brand of Xmas Spirit.