Monday, December 12, 2005
On Saturday night I saw 20 Santas on the street, and two of them were fighting, rolling on the floor. I couldn't tell if they meant it, until all the others ran over and piled on top of them - which lead me to believe that I had just witnessed a local manifestation of Santarchy.
Ah glory be!
The season of goodwill has arrived, when normally pleasant people get grumpy and stressed out about having a few days off without actually getting a holiday, as they have so many compulsory things to do. Where happy families become divided about whether to party by having the relatives around, or by having some time to themselves. Whether to spend lots on yourself or help the homeless (the ones who'd feel grateful to have a stable to sleep in). And all that. Traditionally everyone gets annoyed with me because I won't change, and I point out that it's their tradition that doesn't change. As usual, I highlight different calendars, go around saying Happy Hannukah, and generally act in a boorish manner - and they answer with the traditional greeting of "Bah Humbug!" (Curiously, the person saying it used to have to dislike Christmas, now it gets used to greet them!)
As usual, I point out that vegetarians don't get off on banquets. I don't eat birds, I virtually gave up sugar 30 years ago, and I don't like feeling stuffed (like a snake with a pig in the middle). I already drink and smoke as much as my system likes, so can't increase my consumption without making myself (and others, no doubt) miserable. I still have the ambitious plan to (a) pay off the few hundred quid on my credit card that paid to replace my PC that suddenly died (b) find a few quid to donate to charitable causes (c)express my pleasure in partnership and friendship without having to 'shop'.
All of which makes me the Guy Fawkes on the bonfire, the Scrooge in the corner, the Bringer-Down demon... (sigh)
I know this seems a little premature (!) but I wish you all a Happy Winterval! (they came up with that horrible word as a non-denominational, secular greeting - ANYTHING rather than just stop the whole business) with an emphasis on the word BUSINESS.
For those of you of a Christian tendency, I recommend the Buy Nothing Christmas site for some creative ideas.
For the secular, sorry if you missed Buy Nothing Day on November 26th, but you can still get your Gift Exemption certificate and such on the AdBusters site.
And don't forget, as the forces of 'goodwill' surround you complaining that you're spoiling their party, you don't have to bow to social pressure. Don't feel alone - check out CelebAtheists.
If you insist that Christmas involves spending and giving, try giving a present that will really get appreciated through GoodGifts.org or Concern Gifts.
My last word on the subject.