the nightmare before christmas Thursday, December 22, 2005As we count down the days to Christmas, the amount of chocolate in our advent calendars goes down and the numbers on the bathroom scale shoot up. Most people I know are looking forward to Christmas; for the gifts, the food, and of course, my Christmas blog.
But first, I have to address the issue of the pre-Christmas season. I think it's the months preceding Christmas that turn a lot of people off the holiday mood. The main reason is that there are literally months of pre-Christmas. I think the moment you look out your window and see Christmas decorations being put up in early November, it's a step closer to turning into the Grinch. Every time you hear a pre-emptive Christmas pop-song, an elf dies in the north pole.
To me, I start every Christmas season (ie, the day after Hallowe'en) slightly excited, and since this was the first year where I had money to spend on people, I was looking forward to getting nice things for everyone.
But then I started working at freeport, where the soundtrack, day in, day out, since November, is nothing but international Christmas songs. It was slightly annoying at first, but by the 4th day of it, the annoyance had escalated to the point where I wanted to sneak into the winter-wonderland diorama that they had set up wearing a ski mast and plant some sort of explosive device that activates to the sound of reindeer-hooves.
Then there's the walking, the endless walking, in shopping areas to try and find something for everyone. Then there's the walking back to the car. Then there's the walking back to get stuff for the people you forgot. Then there's the other days that you spend in exactly that way. Worse of all, one of those 'shopping areas' that I spent time in was CascaiShopping. Now, let me be clear on this point: I fucking hate fucking Cascais-fucking-Shopping. Fuck, I hate it so much. I worked there one summer, and I truly came to understand what a concrete tomb it was. I hate it, I hate it above all else.
But with all this negative, horrible, painful imagery and deed, there are in fact a couple up-sides to this time of year. First of all, as banal as it is, the weather is pretty fantastic for this time of year. I can go out without having to wear a sweater, which is great because I don't really own any good ones. Second, as my refrain, family and friends start coming home from their far corners, and it's nice to have them around. And best of all, the anticipation of all the cool shit you're about to get for free.
I think that for a lot of people, the hardest thing is coming to terms about how much Christmas has changed since we were all little kids. The celebration and decoration might be exactly the same, but the excitement that we felt years ago has significantly diminished, and I think I know why.
We know that nobody is going to buy us Lego, this year.