The Three Scrooges
The Coca-cola ad is back on our TV’s, the shops are stocked with Chocs, I’ve had my first Mulled wine and Joe McElderry has switched on all the Christmas lights. Yes, it’s officially one month until Christmas and people worldwide are falling at the first grips of festive fever.
So t’is it now the season to be merry? Fa la la la la? La la la la ...? Apparently not. The majority of adults* to whom I’ve excitedly told “it’s nearly Christmas” (since I’ve been old enough to pose as a convincing adult myself) have whimpered at any mention of the festive season, all bah humbug and ‘not agaaaaaain!’ Booo hissss!
The chances are you’ll have come across the ‘Bah Humbug’ reaction yourself. It tends to come in 3 categories:
Flustered Working Parent (FWP): “Oh god I can’t even think about it yet!” – they’re far too busy living in the real world to plan Santa’s visit and make a wish as they stir the Christmas pud’, but you know they’re going straight home to do a mass gift order online and command the decorations out of the attic.
Adolescents: They’re a bit too cool to get excited about anything, not least an event that means you have to suffer an entire week with ‘the fam’. So they arrange to get pissed on Barcadi Breezers wiv der m8s on Xmas Eve, then spend most of Christmas Day in a massive huff.
The Christmas Controversialists: i.e. – the hip couple who have to stay one step ahead of everyone, including Jesus, and do the polar opposite (literally) of a traditional Christmas. “Oh well we’re ignoring Christmas this year, yah we’re going to a windmill in the middle of the Mediterranean and Mark’s doing a Beef Wellington.” Oh bah facking humbug – we’ve been celebrating Christmas in this style (turkeys, trees, log fires and family feuds) since Mary got on that donkey (oo-er) and it’s not going to change just because the Trendy McCool’s think Christmas is something they can put in the out of fashion pile, along with their vintage gloves.
What the above listed people don’t know is that Christmas is not just for kids. If you know where to look, you can discover some festive gems – and I don’t just mean in the winter sales.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
For me, my mid-twenties are proving to be my Christmas prime; I don’t think I’ve been this overwhelmed by Christmas since I was 3 and refused to go to Bethlehem in the nursery nativity play (true story). Here is why Christmas for my generation is so damn good**
It’s the first time since our cheap, Greek-island sun-break that we’re getting more than a few days off work. An entire week off from deadlines, directors and dodgy colleagues. As we’re still adjusting to the shock of the working world, this is an absolute holy blessing. We can don our University hoodies, ‘stick our heads in the fridge for four days’ and pretend, for a merry moment, that we’re back in second year. Hallelujah!
We get fed. A Lot.
Basically, we’re cooked for because we’re not old enough to host, but we are big enough to cram in obscene amounts of food. "And not just any food. Christmas food. Maybe even Marks and Spencer’s Christmas food." Encouraged to munch as much as we wish, because we can’t afford to eat posh nosh on our own salaries, we ditch the diet ("and get straight back on the poverty diet after New Year.")
The Christmas Spirit(s)
And not dodgy rip offs like VodKat and Rummy. But Baileys, Jack Daniels, Gordon’s Gin…real actual sparkling Christmas spirits that we can never justify buying ourselves, but adorn our parent’s cupboards and put festive joy in our gleeful hearts. (And none of that Eggnog malarkey – wasn’t he a contestant on X Factor 2008?)
We get to see our FABULOUS families
Since finally launching ourselves into the real world and meeting so many weird and awful characters, we’ve realised our families are pretty damn wonderful by comparison. Time with them is precious. They get our jokes, they agree that “Dinner” is “Lunch” and “Tea” is “Dinner”, they feed us (instead of taking food from our cupboards, housemates) and they love us unconditionally. And at Christmas we get them for a whole week.
We make a profit
We still sign out parent’s gift tags, yet cheekily receive our own presents in return. And given that we’re 24 and too old for a hobby horse this will probably be cash. Hey, we don’t get Christmas bonuses, we’re not married and we earn a pittance, so what if we want to use our Christmas money to prevent an extension of the never ending overdraft? (we’re very greatful)!
“I can’t wait to watch Elf 1,000,000,000 times this Christmas” read one friend’s Facebook status yesterday. One month before the main event. This is because be it Elf or The Grinch, Home Alone or Deal or No Deal, It’s a Wonderful Life or Jeremy Kyle – we don’t care. We’ve missed daytime TV oh so much. And we’re oh so happy with the Christmas selection. PJ’s on. Vodka Spiked hot choc at the ready. Joyeux Noel (Edmonds)!
And to all a good night!
We get to party. Again. Now that we’re all big and grown up and live in different cities to our friends, we spend a good month leading up to the big day travelling around the country, having the annual ‘festive celebrations’ with our various peer groups, stopping just in time for a rest and some food with the family over Christmas before we recharge our batteries and continue the merriment right into the New Year. Cheers!
We’re the kid again
We don’t have children of our own just yet which means we’re technically still the children of the family. I, for example, still have a stocking, my dad still sends me an advent calendar, my Nanny still hangs golden chocolate coins on the tree for me and I still wake up super early on Christmas day in a fit of excitement. In a world where we have to do everything for ourselves and responsibility increases by the day, where we get up at 6am in the dark to go to work and still don’t have a penny to put in the old man’s hat…we relish the chance to be wrapped in the warm magical blanket of Christmas. Thought I was too old for Santa’s Knee? Nooooo.
We’re merely over-sized children- we’ve just swapped stockings for Chardonnay and nativity plays for Christmas parties (which, lets be honest, often end up being just a real life adaptation of Mary and Joseph, stumbling around at midnight, looking for a place to stay…minus the donkey.)
Bring on the Santa Banter
Real grown-ups can groan at the thought of the stress inducing, purse emptying, stomach fattening season they've to endure. But me and my mates have picked names for the Secret Santa, we’ve planned where to put the tree in our brand spanking dapper pads (yah, right), we’ve propped up our advent calendars and talks of New Year aren’t far away. Best of both worlds anyone?
So when the big giant Santa face joyfully winks at me from the back of the Coca-cola lorry, reminding me that holidays indeed are coming, I will wink right back and remind myself to dig out my stocking, purchase a party dress and stock up on ibuprofen to kick of the merriest season in the whole wide world. Merry Fackin’ Christmas!
*This does not include my own mother
**All quotes are from real-life 20 somethings