So I was raised catholic, but that’s not what I think any more. So maybe christmas is a bit of a lie for me. It’s certainly a bit weird. The whole thing gets conflicted. I’m sure I’m supposed to be cynical about this commercialised corruption of a festival celebrating a deity I don’t believe in.
But I just spent a morning with a friend that I love, watched Muppet’s Christmas Carol, had poached eggs and am getting ready to go see my family.
You can’t really argue with Christmas. For all it’s consumerist advertising and weird pressures, the basic fundaments of it are positive. The whole thing is just about making an effort. It’s about waking up and doing things for people you care about. It’s about smiling and wishing people well.
Wherever that comes from, and however it’s marketed, that’s an amazing thing.
The social pressure to be with family is hard. But the fact is that you don’t do it because you have to. You don’t really have to. You do it because you care enough about these people to not let them down.
You wish people you know and love well, because you care.
It’s a time of year when people wish each other well.
That’s pretty much my favourite thing, actually. In a society where people are encouraged to build barriers between themselves, Christmas is a time of year when people are encouraged to be friendlier.
In Muppet’s Christmas Carol (I’m pretty sure this doesn’t qualify as a spoiler) the bit that makes me cry starts with Tiny Tim’s death, and the Cratchit family’s sad future christmas. But it doesn’t stop there. Throughout the whole of the finale, as Michael Caine wanders the streets of snow bound Dickensian Muppet London, it’s the way he sings and wishes good will to people that moves me.
It’s wandering through the office trying to do a swing version of ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen’.
I may not believe in a god, but I do believe in good will.
And that’s what it’s about, at it’s core.
Smiles and thank yous and presents and hugs.
Sure, I’m a sentimental fucker, but it does warm me every year.
It’s not about getting fat. It’s not about getting drunk. It’s not even really about Jesus (except for those for who it is). It’s certainly not about getting new things (though I did buy a cello).
It’s about opening your heart and saying ‘Merry Christmas’.
It’s about wishing people well.
Because that’s what we all want. For each other, with each other and outwards forever.
Merry christmas, y’all.
Another festive special (a day behind as I wasn’t online when I wrote it and didn’t go on the computer the rest of the day). Please submit illustrations for this bit of sentimental claptrap to firstname.lastname@example.org