Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Christmas cheer

Christmas was good this year, everyone was happy. Mum and dad relaxed, sis returned from 11 months travelling, I got to see friends and have a good drink and there were no tidal waves in south Asia. We went to see Nan in her nursing home and she was happy to see us, inbetween periods of not realising we were there and sis and I had a chuckle at a woman called Nancy trying to eat soup with a knife.

Yes, everything was good.

I couldn't even get too worked up about the hideous decorations worn by some of the houses round our way. I'm well used to these by now but still enjoy making a slight detour on my way home from wherever I've been just so I can sneer at those houses whose owners believe that the way to celebrate the birth of Christ is to cover their home in lights. And they're not tasteful lights. These are santas lit up, reindeer lit up, christmas trees lit up, santa climbing up a chimney lit up, santa in a helicopter lit up, snowmen lit up etc. Yes, that's santa in a helicopter. Here are some things about santa

- He lives in Lapland, in a place no child has ever seen (except for ones with names like Antonia whose wealthy parents fly them over there)
- He delivers presents to all good children from his reindeer-drawn sleigh
- He manages to do this all over the world in one night

These all help to perpetuate the myth (sorry, but I just don't believe it) of Santa Claus. If we start putting him in a helicopter the story starts to lose its magic as we make him into a mere mortal. What next? Are we to expect children in the US to have Christmas delayed as santa has been held up at immigration? After all, his passport has stamps from all over the world, maybe even Axis of Evil countries. There's no way he's getting through immigration without a lengthy interview. And just how does he park a helicopter without waking the entire neighbourhood? That is if he can land without taking out phone and electricity lines and ruining Christmas for everyone. No sir, I don't like it.

These are minor gripes though compared to the bigger picture in which Christianity's biggest festival is turned into an orgy of buying buying and more buying. But I don't need to go into that as it has been written about many times by people far more articulate than I. Plus, as I wrote a few paragraphs ago, Christmas has been good and I'm happy and I don't want to jeopardise that.

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