Bah Humbug!

bah humbug img scrufOh joy of joys! It’s that time of year again! Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack frost nipping at your nose…Or perhaps it’s the Christmas dinner getting burnt beyond recognition on a gas fire and your nephews new Christmas toy gun bullets zinging past your nose?

Let’s face it Christmas ain’t what it used to be:

  • The unwanted stocking filler rubbish finding their way unceremoniously onto Ebay within 24 hours.
  • The enforced ‘happy family’ get together and lets be honest just because they share the same family tree doesn’t mean you necessarily want to hang out with some of them!
  • The abysmal TV schedules.
  • The pressure on the cook (usually, but not exclusively Mom).
  • Getting what is clearly the cheapest, nastiest card in the Christmas card selection box anonymously hand delivered on December 24th and knowing that basically they forgot you!
  • The drunken office party.
  • The pressure on parents purses to buy every viral toy for their kids because that Christmas tangerine and loving hug doesn’t quite cut it anymore.
  • The annual Christmas and New Year punch up…I mean Sales Days, where people go out to embarrass mankind with their stampeding herd-like behaviour, braying, moo-ing and elbowing for some cooking pots they’ll never use and a large screen plasma TV.

And here’s another thing…who says that Ebeneezer Scrooge didn’t have a point? Why did all those poor folk keep having children they could ill afford? He practiced restraint, why couldn’t they? 5 children, 8 children 10, 12. Was it some kind of competition to see just how many children one could expose to unremitting disease, extreme poverty and hardship? If his beliefs, practices and behaviours were so wrong why were people always knocking on his door to share his ‘ill gotten’ gains? ‘What an evil greedy man you are…oh by the way, can you spare a shilling?..Yes you know from that money you accumulated by NOT behaving like the rest of us.’ BAH HUMBUG!

WHAT SAY YOU?

Is there anything really left to love about Christmas?

1. Woah! Ed…or should I say Edeneezer, (see what I did there?) Take a chill pill, it’s just a happy family get-together.
2. Too right Ed. Christmas is a joke that has had all the traditional significance squeezed out of it.

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67 thoughts on “Bah Humbug!

  1. Here’s what I like about Christmas:

    1) Absolutely no calories in the food I gorge on from the time I get up until I go to bed, including chocolate (in all forms solid and liquid)
    2) Making my own sticky buns on Christmas Eve and sharing them at breakfast on Christmas morning
    3) Staying up very late on Christmas Eve just to hang out and talk over food and drinks
    4) Purchasing a film I never got to see in the movies and spending Christmas afternoon watching it
    5) Taking a day off from worrying about my job, if I have enough money to pay bills, if my doctors think I’m going to need that surgery
    6) Taking the day off from worrying about my Dad who has Alzheimer’s and just be glad that he’s still aware enough to enjoy the day…and that he’s here with us all to enjoy it…
    7) Remembering my mother and honoring her memory by hanging some of her ornaments on the tree and decorations on the walls, cooking a few of her favorite Christmas dishes, baking her cookie recipes and sharing all of them with our friends and family
    8) Trying like hell not to let family members who are known for being rather disagreeable not to get to me but rather ignore their rather uninformed opinions about things and just laugh at their ignorance instead
    9) Accepting that the house looks fine and festive as it is, even if my solar lights only shine for fifteen minutes and the tree dried out
    10) Reminding myself to remember that Christmas is not about gifts, sales and being perfect but is about letting yourself be grateful for what you have. Not all of us can be married or partnered up, have lovely families and gorgeous homes, tons of presents and amazing experiences. But we can take a look around and find the beauty in what’s available, even if it’s a bird singing or a sun rising or setting. Every moment on earth is a gift and it’s up to us to use it however we choose.

  2. Yep. I just said most of these things to myself and then out loud yesterday as we were racing around in 60 degree weather (love it but not when talking Christmas!) in search of the perfect tree…then realizing we have not even begun shopping for our five kids! I am hating the stress of it all and trying to make sure my 9 year old “still believes”…no wonder I am also caring for a house of sick people to boot! Stress stress and more stress. All I requested for Christmas was a Mommy’s time out…a whole day to myself…and maybe tickets to see Duran Duran.

  3. I think the holidays can be what we make of it. Yes there are a lot of people that have forgotten the meaning of the holidays and turn into greedy monsters, stores open on Thanksgiving, decorations come out before or right after Halloween instead of Thanksgiving and you can’t forget the people that like to argue how to wish someone a happy holiday. : /

    For me I just try not to get caught up in that mess except for when I see on my FB timeline the “keep Christ in Christmas” stuff. I do both my shopping on-line and in stores, depending on what I am getting and I stay away from Black Friday.

    I do like seeing decorations, listening to the songs and the good things about the holidays all though it can be hard sometimes since I work at a grocery store. Over all, for me personally it’s the same as it’s always been but I have seen a change in how some people react to it in today’s world.

  4. I LOVE Christmas!!! I love telling my kids the Christmas story and going to church on Christmas Eve!! And this year both my kids are in school Christmas Concerts! I guess with two little ones I can still see the Joy and Blessing of the season. I live it through them (and I myself refuse to grow up!!) I will admit, it’s hard not to let myself get the Humbugs when I see how much emphasis is placed on the “getting” and “I want! I want!” and the pressure to find the “perfect” gift… That’s why I have resolved to stick to the K.I.S.S. Method this year… No one gets anything but the kids… Everyone else is getting a donation to the local food bank or shelter in their name 🙂 My kids are looking forward to giving some socks full of goodies to the shelter this year too…. But I’m rambling..all this to say Christmas doesn’t have to be all about TV specials, Mall Santa’s, and overwhelming shopping adventures… It’s about the Joy of the season and the Celebration of a King… The rest of fluff and feathers 😉 (so none of that makes much sense sorry… Am writing on my phone!)

    1. Lol. I understood…kinda! 🙂 Agreed. I only buy for children – and even then it is not a given. And I’ve always had the rule that if someone MUST give me presents make it a cheque to my favourite charity. This ‘rule’ is in place for birthdays, thank-yous or anything.

      Now tell me, ‘cos though I visited some beezoootiful churches in the US, I didn’t go at Christmas, do you guys have the drunk people coming in at midnight mass, singing loudly and out of tune trying not to fall over in the service too?

      1. Ha… I’ve never seen any at our church, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. If it did, I’d like to think someone would get up and go to them and help them sit and offer them some water and welcome them warmly. I’d hate to see someone shush them and try to usher tuem out, embarrassed that they even dare darken the door in that state…that’s not what Jesus would have done. I love Christmas eve service 🙂

      2. It is an annual event in every UK church I have been in lol! And no, no one shushes them, most people are all in such a jolly Christmassy moods (bah humbug!) they just smile.

        It’s like an acknowledgement that yes you have got yourself in a right state there mate(s) but fair play to you, you made it to church and are even attempting to sing and stand up at the same time! Having said that, seats were always at a premium at a crowded Christmas eve mass with lots of snoozy kids and babies there so no one was giving theirs up!

  5. The food is my downfall. Always trying my best and never quite happy it’s OK. The gifts too, far too much pressure to buy for everybody in the family and you end up with bollocks rubbish or so expensive you feel mean when you hand over a box of choccies.

    1. ROFL! I remember that! You get fed up with all the shopping and think ‘Oh choccies will do! I want to go home now….enough!’
      And then come the day you regret it when you know they’ll unwrap it and pretend to be grateful as the grin falls slightly on one side of their mouth! Lol!

  6. Huh! Christmas pissmas. Hate the day, the thought, the concept, the deceit, the waste of money, the greed, the spoilt rotten children, whilst the poor starve, the yelling and screeching over all the grub, that amounts to so much they are still stuffing themselves weeks later, never mind the pudding’s turned. Yuck! the whole rotten stinking occasion, so that the shops can make moola. Give moi a break! I’m going swimming with dolphins who don’t celebrate crap!

  7. I like the Jesus stuff A LOT, but the rest is so boring (wait, I do like Snoopy as well). One year my husband suggested we buy Playstation for the boys as a thing they could bond over (being a blended family). Our one son was clearly disappointed. A few days after christmas we took the kids to the mall because relatives had given them a Godawful amount of Christmas gift cards. Once in the electronics store we were surprised when disappointed son spent over $200.00 on cheesy dvds like High School Musical (2)?? My husband and other son fumed all the way home. Finally the disappointed one confessed. He hated sharing and would rather watch horrible disney movies than buy games to play with his brother. That’s why I try to focus on Jesus.

  8. As several had said above, what’s left to love about Christmas is the Person it’s named after (Christmas means “Christ’s sending”). However mercurial the human race maybe, he is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” and his love is infinite. That’s worth celebrating EVERY day of the year. So Merry You-Know-Who! ;>)

  9. Not a Xtian, the Xmas time of year was always a trial to me. So glad I no longer have to hide in my house, or be constantly assaulted by all the crowds, bad manners, bad tempers, and general bad behaviour that seems to be everywhere this time of year. I am sure that for those who celebrate the day there are upsides that make up for the nastiness of the season. Unfortunately, that has not been my experience. So glad I now live somewhere where we no longer have to lock up the house with a lot of movies and popcorn and wait for it to be over. *wry grin*

      1. No I realize YOU weren’t sad but it made me think on about people who go beyond feeling stressed or irritated to absolute depression and can’t bear the season. Similar to how we only see one side of Valentines day and Mothers day which isolates those who don’t fit the happy family picture.

  10. Nice humour! I’d say Christ-mas has really had its traditional essence and meaning squeezed out. Because we make it all about our family get together and gifts. Christmas can still be enjoyed by sharing that little love we have for others, family included. We sometimes don’t have a Christmas tree, many times no gift for family members, maybe its an African thing but hey we still enjoy sharing our rice and chicken with friends and family. Most of all we revel in the real essence of Christmas…God’s unconditional Gift of Love wrapped in a bundle- baby Jesus to us All. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…” So hey i may not like some members of my family but who says love is just all about how i feel…time to mend the bridge of mistrust and say…hey i love you in spite of everything, in my own little way! Compliments of the season. Thanks for sharing.

    1. One of the best Christmases I ever had was in west Africa. We simply spent a day visiting folk with an exchange of a Fanta bottle here and a cola nut there, plenty of ‘welcomes’ and hugs, huge happy smiles and zero consumerism.
      I remember being back in the lift afterwards going back to the hotel room and chatting with some westerners about how great it was to have an African Christmas, far away from home.

  11. Sigh. I have to agree that it’s all a big fuss about nothing for mainstream non-religious types. Lots of effort to get us to spend on rubbish for the sake of one day of plastic cheer. I don’t really know how I could make it meaningful if I didn’t use it as an opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ (and yes I know he wasn’t actually born on 25 Dec year 0). It’s funny how little it has to do now with God and how much to do with consumption. I could go on but I shall resist…

    1. ‘Plastic cheer’ like that! I used to get quite cross about the hi-jacking of what was ostensibly a religious celebration by consumerism, but then history tells us that the whole birth story was hi-jacked by the Christians anyway so c’est la vie.

  12. Woah! Breathe…in through your nose and out through your mouth…that’s right, you’re doing fine.

    Christmas is what you make it, the operative word being YOU. Yes there’s pressure coming from all sides and those people you somehow share DNA with but how much you buy in to the hype and how meaningful the season is, all comes down to you and what you make it.

    Oh, and for some of us Christmas is actually about the birth of Christ. Weird but true.

      1. Ooo, you’ve got me there. The answer is I don’t know, which is a very unsatisfying answer for both of us. Let me put it this way. I believe in God and I believe in a man called Jesus who did amazing things and asked other people to be good and believe in a larger than life creator. I (but not my husband or any of our extended family) celebrate the birth of this man on Christmas day.

        I have been told by my children’s religious education teacher (who is basically a woman who does Sunday school but on a Friday for those of us who don’t go to church on Sunday (which is a whole different thing)) that there is no actual depiction of the Christmas story in the bible, so it’s completely believable to me that this story occurs across a range of religions and times.

        I tell you what I do know though…at 14, having given birth in a stable, with only my husband for help, dirty, sweaty, covered in blood, straw and goop, there is no way I would be letting a bunch of shepherds and three strange men who didn’t even have the sense to bring any useful presents crowd around me and the baby. Having given birth twice I am as sure of this as I am that I have two eyes and a nose.

        And that knowledge is enough for me to take the Christmas story with a large grain of salt.

        As always, you have made me think and smile in one deft move. And I LOVE the picture by the way.

        Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, whatever you end up doing.

      2. Great answer! Thank you and you too!

        …But is that true about the non depiction of Christmas in the bible!!!??? 😯 My mind is all a-flutter! Did I imagine reading it! I’m going to have to check! Woah! – Gonna have to get rid of some tedious chores then I’m checking!

        Eh?….Can’t be true…*runs off betwixed and befuddled!*

      3. So I checked before the bore chores! I don’t know if I understand what she is saying. The whole nativity story is certainly in the bible and has been used as reference for all those over blown cine colour Hollywood films my mother likes…so…not sure what she means by ‘there is no actual depiction of the Christmas story in the bible’. Are you?

      4. I think she means the depiction as we know it – stable, sheep, baby in a manger – although the actual birth of Christ is referenced…Does that makes sense. Now I’m confused. I’ll have to find a bible, I’m pretty sure I’ve got one around somewhere (the fact that I’m not sure probably says a lot).

  13. Christ mas is a Jesus thing….religious.
    Today it still is but with a “commercial” twist.
    However it still is a “cultural” thing as it bring families together.
    Any season that unites families must be a “plus” thing.
    Its is also a “sharing” “caring” thing.
    A time to enjoy some things we don’t rest of year.
    Therefore it is a “time to remember” as we grow to adulthood.
    Bring on more such “celebrations” of life…I say !

    Merry xmas and a happy 2016 to all who participate to Guyanese a on-line.

    Kamtan in sunny 20°C andalucia southern Spain.

  14. Hm. I think Scrooge had it right with his bag of humbugs. The shine got rubbed off of Christmas a long time ago. For me at least. Santa doesn’t exist (more’s the pity). People regift or throw cheap gift coupons at you like money at a cheap whore. Christmas Day preparations are a logistics nightmare. And Death creeps ever closer with every carol suffered. It’s really all down from there. (But I may simply just be a cranky old fart, so I’d take this opinion with a grain of tinsel covered salt if I were you.) 😛

    1. What wonderful sentiments. How much would I love a Christmas card like that! Lols! 😀 I might even be compelled to not throw it away instantly!
      The only thing I’d pull you up about is Santa. I met him in a chain store when I was about 7 so he does exist.

      1. Goodness me! I have to take issue with that also. There is only ONE Santa! He is just a fast worker and gets seen everywhere…or something…Are we going to have our first online row about this Tony? Is this where we are headed? 😯 😛

  15. Is there anything really left to love about Christmas? “For unto us a child is born…” No matter what we have turned it into the simple message of God taking on human form as a little baby, and all that follows from that, remains fresh and inspiring. Even if you choose not to believe, it is an inspiring story!

  16. Don’t worry, I’m not missing the humorous point of your article. I, too, am not so jolly around Christmastime, which may be patently obvious, given that I provided a rather boring historical analysis of your clearly humorous points about the story.

  17. In regards to the question you pose about all the children, the birth control methods of the Victorian era were few, ineffective, and sometimes dangerous (carbolic acid). Regarding your question about people asking Scrooge for help, in 19th-century England, nearly 25% of Londoners were in poverty and probably were desperate to receive help. Also, in the Victorian era, several philanthropic organizations were created, which shows that many of the wealthy (obviously, not Scrooge!) pitied and wanted to help the poor. Dickens depicted the plight of the impoverished because his own father was sent to debtors’ prison.

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