Monday, December 21, 2009

Is Christmas a humbug?


This year Cyril and I attended Peter Hinton's splendid play version of a Christmas Carol. For those of you who have never seen a play written by Ottawa's Peter Hinton, you are missing out. Once again Scrooge pronounced that Christmas is a humbug! I sometimes wonder if he is correct!

Every year I vow that this year, Christmas will be quieter and different from the past years. I vow that I will shop on line and limit the time I spend in stores. I vow that I will bake and enjoy preparing feasts for my friends and families and even invite neighbours in for a drink.

It is four days before Christmas, only half of my gifts are wrapped, I invited guests far too late for dinner and so nobody can come, I did NO shopping on line, choosing instead to spend time at Chapters (that was fun in fact) I did bake a cake, of sorts, with lots of fruit, that after two days could be used as a brick to smash windows! As far as inviting friends in for a drink, that too will not materialize.

I am not really sure why I think I should do all of these things, or why I feel a little guilty about NOT having a Hallmark Christmas, complete with falling snow, and a great dinner and smiling happy guests pulling Christmas crackers and sipping champagne all before a fireplace.

The reality is while I have a fireplace, it has an insert and quickly puts out enough heat to turn our living room and entire first floor into a blast furnace! I have somehow not been organized enough to invite guests and Christmas, although it comes every year on December 25th, has somehow snuck up on me.

I wonder how many others are in the same predicament or feel as I do. Perhaps we should all take action against Hallmark, or Christmas television programs, or even the department store Santas for making us feel guilty.

Christmas for many people can be a very lonely time. It is lonely precisely because they feel pressured to be with family or friends but most of them have neither family or friends, or if they do, it would be an unpleasant experience.

Christmas for others is an anti climax. After weeks of shopping, wrapping, decorating and cooking, the presents are all opened...and then what? Lots of wrapping paper to dispose of, batteries to buy and people pretending that they actually like the sweater that you bought them, or in fact needed yet another scarf or pair of gloves.

Is Christmas a humbug? I think for many people, tis the season of unmet expectations, unfulfilled dreams and wishes, dry turkey and unwanted gifts..in short perhaps Scrooge was correct...for many people....Christmas is indeed a humbug.

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