So here it is, merry Christmas, everybody’s having…
Everybody isn’t having fun. A cold December rain is pelting against the window, a brisk gale is blowing soggy, dead leaves into the face of any poor pedestrian unfortunate enough to be outside. Low clouds race across the sky, the colour of lead, and just as heavy with the gallons of rain they carry. It’s midday, yet I had to put the lights on in order to see what I’m doing.
Talking of lights – the lights on my Christmas tree are flashing crazily, though they’re not supposed to. They’re static lights, just meant to sit there glowing prettily, not try their hardest to mimic a deranged 80’s disco strobe light. Still, last year they didn’t light up at all, just emitted a low, ominous buzzing sound if you were brave enough to plug them in, so I suppose it’s a step up.
My central heating works when it feels like it. Right now it feels like it, and it’s akin to a tropical jungle in here. I’m kind of worried about the way the carpet is steaming, and I’m sure I heard a giant anaconda hissing from beneath the sofa. Later on the heating will go on strike again, and I’ll be back to battling polar bears for the best spot on my little iceberg.
But, you know what? I’m content enough. I forced myself to get prepared for Christmas early this year, and yesterday I finished up everything I needed to do. Presents have been bought, cards written and posted. I have enough food, and more importantly, alcohol, to see me through to the 27th. No fighting through hordes of zombie-shoppers for me, no arguing over the last Christmas pud on the supermarket shelf. I’ve been smart, for once.
So the rain can pelt the windows as much as it wants. The wind can blow and howl until it’s blue in its figurative face. Storm Barbara can do her worst, I don’t give a fuck.
It’s Christmas, it’s a time for giving. And no, I don’t mean the overpriced crap that is bought for family and friends in a vain attempt to outdo said family and friends. The greatest gift that can be given is friendship and understanding.
Okay, so that might be two presents. But still…
With all the shit going on in the world right now – the terrorist atrocities, the civil wars, the Western fuelled conflicts, the racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, not to mention orange hued Trumps – take a step back, inhale a deep breath, relax, and be thankful you have those friends and family around you.
Smile more. Be pleasant. Treat every stranger as a friend not yet met, not as a potential threat. Be forgiving. Be understanding. Learn the art of patience. Winning really isn’t everything – it’s more important to have fun and make others smile.
Love. Laugh. Live life as though it’s the only one you’ll get.
Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
So over the next few days, eat too much, drink too much, laugh too much, love too much. Be grateful for what you have got, forget what you haven’t got.
Have yourselves a very merry Christmas, and I’ll see you soon for the new year.
As always, that shallot.