Christmas Misery
As far as I could remember, I have liked celebrating Christmas. The togetherness, this air of “je ne sais quoi” in the atmosphere, in the street even in the offices that I have always associated to the effervescence which gripped people just before Christmas, have always amazed me.
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Christmas Misery

Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us.

                                     David Cameron    

As far as I could remember, I have liked celebrating Christmas. The togetherness, this air of “je ne sais quoi” in the atmosphere, in the street even in the offices that I have always associated to the effervescence which gripped people just before Christmas,  have always amazed me.

There are also the decorations in the street and in the windows shops that brought us back to our childhood’s wonder. 

And not to forget, the smell of toasted chestnuts from the street vendors which contributed to set the mood for the most popular celebration to close the year.

Cities like New York, London or Paris suddenly ceased to feel oppressive and simmered with a buoyant energy that no one can resist.

But one day slowly but surely, I waked up and Christmas has suddenly become a tedious affair. I have tried for the sake of tradition, family harmony, for my nephews and nieces happiness to silently endure the festivities but I knew in my heart that Christmas has just lost its magic for me and there would be no going back.

So year after year,  I have celebrated Christmas festivities heavy-hearted knowing that their meanings have been lost to me a long time ago.

 

A perfect recipe for disaster

Once upon a time,  we took a meaningful celebration, the paeans Winter Solstice, we had a bit of Christianity (St Nicholas and the birth of Christ) and we sprinkled it all with a bit of magic with the creation of this legendary personage who will become the embodiment of these holidays, Santa Claus, we mix all and Christmas was born. 

But what no one has told us, is the fact that contrary to our childhood fairytales we will never be allowed to grow out of those celebrations as we are condemned to carry on with the tradition through our children, our grand-children and so on. 

Christmas is forever and nothing can stop this celebration. No war has ever stopped it even the French  and German army have had a Christmas truce between 24th to 26th December 1914.

That is how powerful theses festivities seem to be for the Western countries.

But this year, contrary to what all the politicians want us to believe with their analogy to the war, there are no defined trenches, there are no cleared defence lines between our enemy and us. There will be no evacuation to a safe place somewhere in the countryside far away from London, Paris or New York. There will be no truce. Our enemy is invisible and deadly and its battle ground is the world. 

It has no feeling, no compassion, it does not care about Christmas and what it means to people.

The Covid-19 continue striking around the globe with a devastating effect that even the vaccine so anticipated, does not seem to slow down.

So I am asking you like I have asked myself, is it worth to risk the life of our loved ones for a celebration which has lost its true meaning for sometime now and celebrate for the sack of celebrating?

I already knew what some of you are going to say, that Christmas is a family celebration and with the year we just had, people need to find a sense of normalcy well-deserved, and it makes children happy, and that the symbolism behind it has been maybe bruised but is still alive etc.

And partly, I will agree with you. Of course, Christmas makes children happy, they can ask Santa, all the presents they want. Also I agree that people want to go back to a sense of normalcy and the symbolism behind Christmas is honourable and still much in need.

 

But despite all those affirmations, I think celebrating Christmas this year, has no real meaning whatsoever.  And let me explain my thought to you!

 

During the year I have lost my dad, everything has seemed to fade away. All the things that I had loved doing, like photography has lost their appeal to me. 

I could not find anything beautiful, meaningful to take photo of. So imagine celebrating Christmas in that kind of mind set.

My family came to visit the UK for a change of scenery and celebrate Christmas with me but it was not the same because our lost was too big, too unexpected for us to grapple with.

So we follow the well-written script, bought a Christmas tree, presents, all the tinsels to decorate my house. 

We even went to see all the Christmas lights in London and we took pictures and I can assure you that my mum was not smiling on any one of them and she really tried but I think we could all excuse a woman who has lost a few months ago not only the love of her life but also her best friend.

The reason I am telling you all of this, is because I can draw the parallel with the current situation. This year has been unprecedented. Some of us have suffered immeasurable lost, some of us have the life of our loved ones still in balance, and some of us have been lucky and I do not think in those circumstances we should be celebrating Christmas at all the cost during a global pandemic which continue to cause havoc in our life.

How do you celebrate Christmas when you have lost loved ones this year and you were unable to be with them because of the risk?

How do you celebrate Christmas when you have a loved one in a hospital bed fitting for his or her life?

How do you celebrate Christmas when you have to choose which side of the family you can receive this year?

And how do you celebrate Christmas and all its syrupy goodies feelings when you know that your neighbour has lost his job, that your favourite hairdresser, restaurant or pub are closing forever?

That despite the fact, you have braved the possibility of catching Covid-19 and went shopping so some of the shopkeepers could have something to live on until the next lockdown but know that most of them will be gone forever anyway?

 

My response is you do not. They could not have let us just reflect on what this year has taught us about ourselves and the life we have until now taken for granted.

I have been told time and time again that there is a time for everything: a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.

What this Christmas could not be our time to pause and reflect?

And for those of us who did not lose any friends or family to be grateful for our blessing? For those who have lost a loved one to mourn in peace?

Why should we have to fake being jolly when contrary to Meredith Wilson’s song It’s not beginning to look a lot like Christmas?

 

 During the redaction of this article, London was entering in Tier 4, the strictest level of restriction ever put in place, Germany has started a new lockdown, the US have broken a new record for the number of people who have died in a single day.

Merry Christmas, anyone?

 

 

I will conclude this post with this quote from the movie Christmas Vacation

 

Well, I don’t know what to say except, it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery

                                                Ellen Griswold

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