Monday, 6 December 2010
Imagine what the Christmas festivities would look like if you're an alien who's just dropped out of the sky. People running around the shops trying to buy up anything and everything, like the world is going to end on December 25 and you're really going to need that Super Soaker, cricket set and copy of John Howard's Lazarus Rising to survive the apocalypse.
People stockpiling pretzels, chips, bottles of soft drink, puddings, shortbread, turkey, ham. Filling trolleys full of Christmas crackers, rolls of wrapping paper, plastic Santa Clauses and tinsel.
Decorating their homes with snowmen, reindeers and fake snow, as the sun blazes down.
We queue for hours to force our kids to sit on the lap of a strange old bearded man, dressed like he's about to go out in the snow when it's pushing 30C outside, and take a picture. Any other time of the year, we'd be ushering our kids away from such a character.
Catching up with everyone we've ever known before December 25, again like the apocalypse is coming and it's our last chance to see our nearest and dearest.
Spending Christmas day unwrapping presents we don't always like, sweltering in the kitchen baking turkeys and hams, catching up with long-lost cousins, aunts and uncles we never otherwise see. Stuffing ourselves full of food and grog, until we pass out of the lounge physically unable to move.
Of course, there is the whole birth of Christ reason behind this madness, but for how many people does religion actually play any part of Christmas? Very few, I'd say. I think even a local church is a little confused, this is an invitation we received for the Dora the Explorer Christmas Eve service for Kids.
I knew Dora was an explorer, I just didn't realise she went to Bethlehem for the birth of Christ. She really did do it!
Now, don't think of me as a Grinch, cause I'm not. I love Christmas and I love all of the madness and craziness of it. I even love Christmas shopping. I love catching up with strange relatives. Some of my most favourite childhood memories are of sitting around a table wearing silly paper hats, reading terrible jokes and watching the adults have a few too many sherries. And laughter, lots of laughter.
I also realise there are many people out there who wish they could have a strange family to sit around a table with, buy an ugly six-pack of hankies for and even argue with. I know that being able to throw myself head-first into Christmas craziness is a privilege.
But really, it's all a bit odd isn't it?