Life

Grinching down to Xmas

I can finally breathe a sigh of relief, now that I’ve completed my Xmas shopping. Today, cards will be written and I’ll ease myself into the last working week of 2014.

I managed to avoid all the Black Friday madness and most of the crowds, doing most shopping online or away from the major shops. It wasn’t a walk in the park, but at least I didn’t have to resort to fist-fighting in the middle of John Lewis to get what I wanted. I had a list, I stuck to it firmly and I got in and out of shops like a short, bald ninja.

Just like in previous years, Xmas will be split between The Netherlands and Scotland, visiting @frankdjs’s family and mine respectively. Then, on the 29th, normal service will resume and we’ll take it easy before heading off to Bath for a weekend. I’m hoping the spas will help me recover from the inevitable overindulgence.

I’m afraid to say I’m a bit of a grinch around Xmas and I don’t really try to hide it. I resent the crazy commercialism of it all, the fact that decorations go up immediately after Halloween and we have now imported the blind stupidity of Black Friday from our American cousins.

I’m no fan of seasonal music, especially when it seems to be the same CD being played in every shop I visit. There’s a special place in hell for anyone who plays Cliff Richard’s monstrosity anywhere near me. I have to say I had some violent thoughts about Mariah Carey yesterday, having heard her “All I want for Christmas…” for about the fifth time in a couple of hours.

I pity the parents whose kids are bombarded with ads for pointless toys from mid-October. I really dislike the passive-aggressive cards sent by people I haven’t spoken to in years. I hate the “because it’s Christmas” excuse for all kinds of behaviour and wonder why (really) people can’t do nice things for others during the other 11 months of the year.

On the upside, it’s nice to see family, eat some of my favourite food and generally lounge about for a few days (when I’m not battling my way through a series of airports). Now with a young nephew and nieces, there’s a lot of fun to be had in buying them gifts and watching them unwrapping them with glee.

We’ll engage in the usual traditions of wondering why we bought so much food, swearing that next year it’ll all be gift vouchers, groaning when sitting or standing due to over-consumption and partaking in frequent naps. Interspersed with mince pies and turkey sandwiches.

(And yes, I’m bringing mince pies and Christmas pudding with me to The Netherlands – there are some things I won’t do without).

And then settle down in front of a film. Bond, probably. Which is no bad way to end the year.

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