Ding dong merrily on high! It’s that time of year when you pour all of your money down the drain in exchange for an argument over Monopoly, the discovery of your incontinent mother-in-law’s excrement on your kitchen floor, some underpants you didn’t want and Bailey’s-induced alcohol poisoning.
That’s right! In just under a month, it’ll be Christmas!
Everyone loves Christmas – everyone. Well … kids love it because they’re greedy little bastards who see nothing wrong in demanding a £500 smart phone from their parents despite the fact they do nothing whatsoever to deserve such extravagance at any time between the ages of zero and eighteen.
“Can I have an iPhone for Christmas?”
“I’ll tell the authorities you raped me.”
“You’re a bitter disappointment to your mother and I.”
“That’s nice. Do I get the iPhone? I’ve got social services on speed-dial here …”
“I’ll get on to Littlewoods.”
And the grandparents love Christmas because they’ve passed on the responsibility of getting through the nightmare of the festive season to their unfortunate offspring. As retirement rolls lethargically forwards, they can look forward to doing what they do best at this time of year – sitting in an armchair, criticising everything your spouse does and complaining about the immigrants.
And all whilst they’re tanked up on food and booze and every single purple Quality Street (the bastards) that they didn’t pay for. Look at them, in their chairs.
Meanwhile, Christmas for you is awful. Christmas shopping is awful; the office Christmas party is awful; Christmas Eve is awful; the inevitable gut-clog of fourteen kilos of sprouts, stuffing balls and gloopy gravy is awful; Monopoly is awful; Scrabble is awful; Pictionary is so awful, it puts you off art – all art – forever; your father-in-law is awful because he blames everything on the Jews and your children are awful because you can see greed – not joy – in their greedy little eyes as they tear open their presents like a pack of feral dogs.
“I thought I’d be delighted when I saw little Jimmy open his presents,” you say, turning to the scotch at three in the afternoon. “But it was like watching a mini Gordon Gekko ripping apart a company. I’m putting a bet on at William Hill that the little fucker grows up to be Hitler.”
So what, then, is the compensation for all of this misery? Well it’s not your presents if you’re a man, that’s for bloody sure. Long gone are the glory days when you got Star Wars figures and Transformers for Christmas. Now it’s socks, underpants, socks, ‘comedy’ books about garden gnomes, B&Q gardening vouchers, socks and more socks.
WE CAN BUY OUR OWN FUCKING SOCKS!
No. The compensation, apparently, is that there’s at least something to watch on the telly as you sit bloated, blind drunk and farting in an over-heated living room filled to bursting with the pack of apes that passes for your family. A family that you’d quite like to see burned alive thanks to Christmas, by the way.
Is there something worth watching on Christmas Day? Let’s take a quick look at the so-called ‘great’ Christmas telly we can all look forward to watching in this post-Only Fools and Horses world, shall we? Let’s start bright eyed and bushy tailed on Christmas morning …
Something boringly religious is followed by Noel bloody Edmonds handing out Christmas presents to children with cancer because cancer’s Christmassy, isn’t it? Then it’s a phalanx of animated movies plus one of those terrible Tim Allen Santa Clause atrocities because ITV holds the rights to air Santa Claus – The Movie, will hold those rights to the end of recorded time and you’ve got to show at least one thing that features Santa because that’s the law.
Break for an oil tanker’s worth of food and booze and a fight with Uncle Eric.
Then it’s ‘Er Majesty (all rise please) giving everyone a breakdown of which nationalities her husband has managed to upset this year, followed by Shrek, Shrek II, Shrek The Third, Shrek Strikes Back, Shrek – The Final Nightmare and I’ll Tear Out My Eyes Before I Watch Another Shrek Film.
And then it’s all hail part one of the traditional two part EastEnders misery-fest. Oh, she’s dead is she? There’s nothing says today we celebrate the arrival of Our Lord Our Saviour™ quite like the miserable, lonely death of a beloved soap character. Lovely, lovely, lonely death.
This is followed by a Shrek film. Another one.
And so to the evening. It’s time for the family to settle down and endure the slog to the Carry On / Steptoe and Son / Morecambe and Wise movie they show at one in the morning when everyone’s too drunk to turn over.
Oh look! There’s an unfunny revival of that sitcom we briefly enjoyed in the early 1990s. And here’s a Dickens thing with Jim Broadbent in it and, oh God, not Doctor Who. And – Jesus! – I thought her dying in part one of EastEnders was depressing enough. You mean to tell me the Queen Vic’s exploded? Exploded when it was stuffed to the gills with cute little puppies, leukaemia kids and delightful animated bears?
Well at least there’s the big Christmas night film to wash away the tears …
Oh right. It’s Titanic.
So no. Not even the telly can make Christmas any better because John Sullivan is dead and Granddad’s dead and Uncle Albert’s dead and Mike from the Nag’s Head is dead and Del Boy’s playing a geriatric royal bodyguard and fuck knows what happened to Rodney, the plonker.
Christmas is monstrous. Christmas doesn’t care if it hurts your feelings. Christmas is a gaping chasm of misery and despair and it’s never going to go away, not ever.
So you may as well just shoot yourselves now.