It's been a not-very-Christmassy Christmas here. I got a guitar amp - yes, riffage! - and the new FM2006 which I may have to leave at home once I go back to Bournemouth otherwise I expect I'll fail the year. Some general other stuff too which has all been very nice, and I count myself lucky that etc etc.
The trouble with Christmas is you start preparing with the shops - in about September. You spend 3 and a half months building up to one day. And it never quite delivers. Sure you get lots of nice new things, and you have a fantastic lunch which is always the best part of the day. But really, as celebrations go, it's a bit flat. It's just one day for crying out loud.
This is of course from an aethiest's point of view. I have nothing to celebrate on the 25th of December, it just marks a point where I can give and receive presents with the people I want to do this with the most, so why should I start thinking about it so far beforehand? (Answer: because capitalism wants to make as much money from the 'event' of Christmas as possible). As an actual date, an event, New Year's Eve is much, much more significant. There's something far more finite, about the end of one year, and the start of a new one: looking back and being able to file away, if you like, the events of one year, and to contemplate and look forward to the new.
This may all seem a touch pessimistic, but this year I started to see a futility in it all. All the effort - even in little things like rolls and rolls of wrapping paper, hundreds of cards - for one day. Maybe next year, I'm going to say to people: "don't buy me anything, buy something for yourself" and I'll do the same. Instead of everyone spending their money on everyone else, no one spend it on anyone but themselves. The result? You probably save money, unless you go crazy, and get all the stuff you want for Christmas!
And anyway - next time I shopping, I'm off to the sales to pick up what I didn't get for Christmas. They started Boxing Day! So people spend 3 months or so buying buying buying for christmas, have a day off and then start again looking for that must-have bargain.
Perhaps that's what the 25th of December marks. The one day a year that consumers have off.