Rants & Reflections

Christmas as a Scrooge

Christmas is hailed by many as being the most wonderful time of the year, one where dreams come true and magic is the air. About 95% of the population might feel this way to a greater or lesser extent. If you fall into the other 5% then you have two choices. Either keep your mouth shut and struggle through the terrible music, heavy food and bright lights; or do as I do, moan endlessly and get called some combination of a Scrooge or a Grinch. If, like me, you find the festive period doesn’t quite cut it, I’ve put together a quick survival guide to help you through the next few days.

Brush up on your (anti) Christmas facts

As a means of validating your point of view and really driving home the point that Christmas is a load of rubbish, few things are better than some grumpy festive factoids. Try going for things like “you know Jesus wasn’t really born at Christmas” or “we just stole it from the pagans.” You’ll get few marks for originality but you’ll have established your credentials. At best, they can also suggest that your objections are based on something more than just a miserable personality.

Defend your idols

If someone calls you Grinch, he was just someone who stood up for what he believed in (plus I always thought Jim Carrey was hilarious). If they call you Scrooge, he was just a hard-working businessman who didn’t believe in handouts. Best not to mention that both characters eventually achieved redemption.

Moan about the commercialism

Another staple of Anti-Christmas sentiment is endlessly moaning about how Christmas could have once held some value but has now been ruined by the ‘corporations’. Don’t feel the need to say which corporations, or even to properly explain your point. Above all, make it clear that you are stating a matter of self-evident fact and not a personal opinion. Your certainty should prevent any follow-up questions, which might be awkward – after all, you too are doubtless as good a client of these corporations as anyone else.

Wear an (extra) ironic Christmas jumper

This is a funny one as you could argue that all Christmas jumpers are ironic: no one’s going to wear one seriously, right? You could also make a subtle extra point about the commercialisation of Christmas by going for a very minimal Christmas jumper, say with a tiny reindeer or sprig of holly on the chest. The subtle nuances of your humour may not be easily accessible to everyone, so if people don’t get your extra ironic/anti-establishment message, then make sure you explain it to them continuously until they understand. This will make you seem mad rather than just miserable, which at Christmas is often regarded as more socially acceptable.

Try to find allies

When surrounded by Merry Christmas-goers you can feel isolated, like an agent posted behind enemy lines. When speaking to someone new, test the water by mentioning a vaguely anti-Christmas sentiment without giving yourself away. If you meet agreement then rejoice in your vindication that you’re not the only one and there are others like you hiding in plain sight.

Take the high road

If you’re looking for a way to annoy your friends and family beyond reckoning, this is it. Having already talked about the commercialisation of Christmas, drop in some comments about the huge amount of food wasted and how the rubbish it causes is bad for the environment. Again, don’t back it up with any figures or examples – if you don’t give facts you can’t be wrong.

Don’t ruin it for anyone else

Most importantly, it’s key that you try your absolute best not to kill the spirit of what can be one of the best times of the year. After all, if you really hate Christmas that much what the hell are you doing in the pub, at the party or at the dinner table? It’s therefore important to note that these tips really are as a last resort, for those who just can’t keep quiet about it. After all, it can’t be that bad. Can it…?

 

Michael Quinn

 

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