Xmoose. It is the name it deserves. It is sufficiently far removed from what Christmas originally was about. Based on a religious festival convened to celebrate the birth of their representative leader, and a time to appreciate the humanity of homo sapiens. Unfortunately humans are also good at exploiting and manipulating other humans. Hence the birth of marketing, and the equally shady career of selling. Now Christmas is about exploiting the innocence of children and manipulating them into manipulating their parents to buy shit loads of ‘stuff’. And that is just what it is, ‘stuff’. Stuff, in my mind, doesn’t reflect what Christmas is actually about. Yes, it’s nice to give gifts to people to show how much you love/appreciate/want to love/appreciate/shag others, but why does it have to be at a time when most of Earth’s population is doing it too? Doesn’t that make it less special? The kind of less special that’s tagged with ‘I’m only doing this cos everyone else is’ penned in gold, with a bit of glitter, and if I don’t do it now then everyone will point at me and say I don’t care, I’m heartless, I am a scrooge! Well, if I’m a scrooge for thinking that’s a bit of a lame reason to give someone a gift that actually means something then I shall don my cravat and go live with Miss Havisham and her mouldy meat.
I cringe every time I hear a small child demanding some risk assessed, mass produced, target marketed, lump of plastic love from Santa. Yes, that Santa bloke. Who the fuck is Santa? I shall tell you who the fuck Santa is. Santa is the king of sales and marketing. The ultimate gimmick. He can sell anything! And has a very long and complicated contract with Coca-Cola. Christmas as a commercially driven manic buying fest, therefore = not interested.
I am not in any way shape or form a fan of any religion. I have recently accepted the label ‘atheist’ as a quick way for others to understand where I’m coming from. Religion has served its purpose and it should be laid to rest in a comfy bed made of folk tales and legends. Why in our enlightened age people still adamantly arrange themselves around such a fallacy I cannot comprehend. I used to get quite angry about it, but I have recently resigned myself to its existence. It offers hope and comfort to some, and I can understand why some would need it, although exploited because of it some may be. So Christmas as a religious festival = not interested.
I have a strange family. I don’t have a family in the sense of nice, cuddly, always there for you, might get on your tits a bit but you can put up with it to see gran pissed on a teaspoon of sherry (I don’t and never have had a gran or the male equivalent, but I’ve seen the stereotypes on the telly n that). To me, family means unhappiness, frustration, stultification, and forced compliance, mixed with guilt for not being able to fix it. Family is an emotional issue. My dad died in 2006. He was an alcoholic. We had a turbulent relationship to say the least, and I blamed him for everything. But that’s a whole other blog post! I am an only child (I’ve let that out there for your pre-judgments to ensue), and I only have my mum left. This is a sore subject, so I won’t dwell on it, but if you follow me on Twitter you may have guessed that the Mother Chimp isn’t the easiest of people to spend more than an hour with. She’s an Edwardian chimp in a modern world. Far removed from her offspring. She has come to terms with the fact her little chimp has evolved a mind and the will to carry out individual thoughts. She visits in December, she brings presents, she passes judgment, approves or disapproves (delete as appropriate), we have lots of gin, she spills most of it, she goes home. That’s about it. The thing is we repeat this throughout the year, so it doesn’t make much difference when it happens, it’s still as frustrating, still as upsetting, and still a necessity borne out of maternal love, from both sides (believe it or not!). So, Christmas as an excuse to see family = already doing it lots actually.
Another complication is the The ManBoy’s mother is a METHODIST MINISTER! Oh the irony! So of course they do Christmas properly, but with added commercialisation. I of course keep my gob firmly shut, even though she believes I am stopping The ManBoy (age 34), from having a proper Xmoose. She put that in an email to me. Which is nice. But that’s fine, I’ll take the flack. I’m a good excuse.
I of course still have to sit in a front room covered in sparkly stuff, adorned with a plastic ‘tree’ with flashy lights, and watch the cat coughing up the occasional bit of tinsel. I still buy presents for The ManBoy, and Mother Chimp. I try to make presents for others myself because I think it means more. I still watch some of the better crap telly. I still use it as an excuse to eat more than the body weight of a large mammoth and drink until I become my own demijohn. I take the time to come to terms with the fact I shall be losing a week’s pay to have long lie-ins, read lots of books, create lots of things, write lots of words, and I should really enjoy it. It’s fine. So let’s get the fuck on with it shall we?! Bring Xmoose on!
(a special thanks to @gibbonarms for inspiring ‘Xmoose’ with his stunningly appropriate ChrisMoose label)