Thoughts on Christmas

I had my haircut tonight, and it got me thinking about Christmas. It was 7pm at night. The salon was packed. They were serving wine. Everyone was happy. I was happy. Apparently they had appointments through until midnight. Fancy that, on your feet and cutting hair until the clock strikes 12.

Christmas is a funny time.

When we think about Christmas, situations like I described above aren't unusual. Everyone is busy. Everyone is making last-minute appointments. Everything is booked up, and everyone is squeezing as much as they can into the days and weeks leading up to the day itself.

And we're all happy to do it.

Despite its hectic nature, and the ridiculous expectations placed on us both financially and socially, Christmas is generally a happy time. A special time. Fun. People seem to smile more. People seem to be more generous. More resilient in the face of the mundane nature of their daily lives. I know it's not this way for everyone, but most people seem to rise to the occasion.

Perhaps it's the thought of the imminent holidays and the time spent away from work. The opportunity to reunite with family living away from home. The thought of receiving fabulous gifts. Or perhaps it's just the abundance of really pretty fairy lights. Things that, for some strange reason, we tend to save up for this one, special time of year.

Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter. I think that most of us can agree that Christmas is pretty cool.

But like anything we enjoy and look forward to, you can only take it for so long. We love the lead-up to Christmas, the endless parties, BBQs and social get-togethers...but when the big day finally arrives...we're spent. Often, quite literally. Boxing Day for many becomes the day we can finally relax, do what we want, be where we want, and pretend we all hate Christmas and that we're really glad it's finally over.

And maybe that's why it's special. I used to think that Christmas in the 21st century was to a large extent a man-made affair, driven by retailers and embraced by everyone else because of a sense of community, common purpose, togetherness and generosity that comes along with it. Being devoid of any religious significance for the majority (Christmas, after all is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ) I used to think we should just act like this and be happy all the time.

But I've changed my mind. I think Christmas is special because it only happens once a year, and we can all look forward to it, and look forward to it being over, all at the same time. To have it more often would be to ruin the very nature of what it's about. It's possible to have too much of a good thing, after all.

Christmas is a funny time. But it's a great time.

Merry Christmas!

posted by Dylan on 20 December 2013, 12:21 am in