I kind of feel sorry for those poor bastards that work in department stores and supermarkets. It’s bad enough that for the past two months I’ve been irritated when hearing Christmas carols playing whenever I’ve walked into one. Imagine how they’re feeling, though! They’ve been having to listen to them for, like, two months now. Horrible annoying carols by Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilera. Surely, they’d be going mad.
It’s the 5th of December, right? Kids still in school, maddness not quite started. Apparently so. Popped into a shopping centre today to buy a book for one of our friends kids overseas. I don’t normally attempt any Christmas shopping until, like, the week before Christmas, to which I’ll then be completely stressed at having to do everything all at once and curse Christmas in its entirety. Yet today, 5th of December, I remind you, the shops were mad! People every where. Kids everywhere. Fights going on in the carpark at that one loan space left available. Department stores looking like Santa had come personally to throw up all over the place, everything was so sparkly. It’s so ridiculous that you can walk through those stores and come out the other side covered in glitter even though you hadn’t been anywhere near any of the decorations. There were already kids crying in the toy department (which they insist on putting right near the entrance where you walk in so even those of us without kids are subjected to the complete horror that is the toy department. Kids throwing massive tantrums, ‘what do you mean Santa can’t afford it? He’s santa!’ Mother’s complaining about the cost of everything though insisting on buying their children not one but several expensive items. People muttering to their friends about the ridiculous cris cringle idea and ‘what the fuck am I going to get them?’ questions that always arise.
I love how in big families the decision is often made to do a cris cringle or secret santa to take the pressure off everyone. Yet inevitably you’re given the name of a cousin or aunt you don’t really know very well, certainly have no idea what to buy for them and have a limit of $20 which in this day an age you get absolutely nothing for. So everyone ends up with something they don’t really want – another useless trinket, what’s more, the whole secret santa thing is often voided by families deciding that in their immediate family they’ll still do presents so you often end up with double the stress.
My parents are quite Italian in their gift-giving. We get money. Yes, yes, it is nice to receive a present, to open a present, but fuck me, sometimes I understand why they do it. In actual fact, this year, when Dad hands over the crip $50 bill like some forlorn bank teller, I have a right mind to hand it back to him as his present. Or better yet, let’s just keep our money in our wallets and save all of us the hassle.
I can’t believe I’m already getting anxious about this. Trouble is, I cannot avoid shops for the next twenty days. You know, I’ve got to eat. I can’t go around with my eyes closed to avoid looking at all the blinding tinsel. I can’t walk around with my ears blocked to avoid Mariah Carey’s cat-like trilling as she makes her way down the octives in some obscure take of a Christmas carol trying to prove to us all what a gifted singer she is. Yes, we know. Now shut up, you no longer have to convince us.
In actual fact I’d be quite pleased to give up on the whole idea of Christmas all together. Well, all the crap parts of Christmas. Like me having to buy gifts for eveyone else. Perhaps they can all tell me what they want, buy it themselves, and just present me with a receipt on Christmas day, to which I’ll reimburse them for.
I think I’ve done it, really. I’ve just come up with a whole new way of celebrating Christmas. Receipt day. Christmas is the one day a year when you can go out and buy that ridiculous thing you’ve always wanted but could never justify having and just get someone else to pay for it. Instead of turning up to Christmas lunch with a bottle of wine or a Christmas cake, everyone will just turn up with wallets full of cash.
I’m quite brilliant indeed.