Yes, I am a liberal elite atheist trying to ban Christmas, and proud of it! Not really. Everyone else can celebrate it as much as they like as far as I’m concerned. But I don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons, and I don’t see any point in pretending otherwise.
I am celebrating though. Wintervals are older than Christianity, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Winter is a terrible time of year, bereft of warmth and particularly sunlight. It is quite disturbing when you have sleeping patterns like mine and you end up sleeping through the entire day.
On this basis, I should really celebrate the Winter Solstice, like Adam Smith was a Socialist does. But seeing as everyone else celebrates on the 25th, that’s good enough for me.
For me, this is an opportunity to enjoy yourself at a bad time of the year. One of the things I hate most about Christmas is the way people get so stressed out about it. People need to chill out a bit and enjoy the holiday instead of running around trying to buy tat which the recipient will, on average, value between a tenth and a third less than was paid for it (PDF).
I am not being smug about it because I have fallen into the trap as well. There must be some kind of sociological law that says the more you’re supposed to be on holiday, the busier you actually are. Just more lies from society. I don’t know why I don’t just exit now.
That’s why I haven’t been blogging much over the past few days, even though I have a million things to say. Story of the year. The busyness is partly as a result of my high-flying career in retail (!). But I’ve also got a mountain of university work to do as well.
In a way, I am lucky as an Edinburgh University student. Our winter exams are done and dusted by mid-December, so we don’t have them looming over us all Christmas. Having the exams that early has its own disadvantages of course, but at least Christmas is worry-free.
Not this year though. I have a 3,000 word essay to write about changes in Scotland’s population since 1945. The module is The Scottish Economy, which is very interesting, but also a damn nuisance because there is very little reading material compared to most other modules. I really will have to pull those 3,000 words out of thin air.
I’m also tearing my hair out about my dissertation. It’s due in towards the end of February. For various reasons, I never got the work done during the year that I was hoping to, so I am behind schedule big time. Well, I’ve written nine pages out of 30, but I’m sure to cover most of the material that will have to be edited down quite a lot anyway.
The upshot of all this was that I was in Edinburgh on Friday to take back some books that I haven’t needed for weeks and to do some reading for that Scottish Economy essay. I also got out some more heavy books. And lots of climbing up and down stairs was involved.
Then, sucker that I am, I went to do some Christmas shopping. Lots of walking up and down Princes Street was involved. And the stuff I bought was ridiculously heavy. I felt like a bit of a tube in the train station, as I battled with all of that stuff.
Worst of all, the combination of heavy shopping and heavy library books has left me with a plethora of strange pains in all kinds of parts of my body. I feel like a decrepit octogenarian. Next year I will probably stick to shopping in Kirkcaldy.
Incidentally, mad busy 24/7 shitlife aside, I will not be switching off the computer over the Christmas period as some people do. I don’t really see the point in that. For me, blogging is — and always should be (unless it’s a pro- or business blog) — a leisure activity. I enjoy it. So I won’t be stopping. There’ll be fewer readers around of course, but that’s their choice. (Proof, if ever it were needed, that blogging is sustained mostly by people who are skiving off work).
I am currently facing the same Christmas cards dilemma that I had last year. Only this time, instead of receiving five cards, I’ve received nine. Clearly, either nobody cares that I didn’t give them a card last year, or they have completely forgotten. Which kind of sums up the insincerity of exchanging cards.
Anyway, my mother is currently bullying me into writing nine reciprocal cards. I was going to give to charity instead, because let’s face it — giving to charity will do a lot more good. Besides, what will happen if I don’t give them a card? Will I end up in their bad books? It didn’t happen last year, so…
Well, I just flipped a coin to decide, and it turns out that I have to write out the cards. Bah.