29 November 2010

Holidays are coming: “Tis the season, it's always the real thing”*

I am embracing Christmas with a vengeance this year. If ever we needed a bit of magic and sparkle, it’s now. And the festive season is all about giving people a much needed break, and something to look forward to. A long time before Christianity, it was recognised --  by a whole heap of ancient cultures and civilisations -- that they needed a winter festival to break the tedium of those long, cold, dark and lonely months.

Feasting, gift-giving, candles, music, holly, mistletoe and even the Christmas tree…all of these were appropriated by the Christian faith from rival winter solstice or festival celebrations -- including the Germanic Yuletide, Rome’s Saturnalia and the Indo-Iranian feast of Mithra -- and attributed to the birth of Christ.

It’s all very interesting, but this year, I don’t really care what or why we’re celebrating -- I just want to celebrate. I want to spend time with the people I care about doing sweet feck all except having a lovely time. It’s a little bit like sticking my fingers in my ears and trilling la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, except the whole world will collude with me for a week or two, before we reluctantly face up to January and real life again.

So I was thrilled this morning to hear that Christmas FM is back on air. Ok, it mildly irritated me last year but I was an idiot, a Grinch -- this is an all-volunteer station that’s seeking to raise awareness and money for Barnardos, and good on them.

And I was delighted to learn that the Docklands Christmas Market starts this Friday. Yes, it’s the same as their Octoberfest and Maritime festival  but I don’t care, I will eat sausages and drink mulled wine and wander around its frozen and twinkly environs rejoicing in its shiny distraction.  

I cannot wait to skate around the Arnotts’ rooftop against a backdrop of fairy lights. So I can't skate and I am terrified of falling but so what? I will cling to the side with the kiddies and pull myself around and be thankful for the arm workout and remind myself that I am not in work.

And I will shop till I drop at a plethora of special instore shopping evenings, like the one Karen at lovelygirlybits told us about, at TK Maxx on Thursday, or the Burlesque event at Arnotts this weekend, and I will push all thoughts of crass consumerism firmly to one side as I imagine the happy faces of my loved ones as they open up their gifts.

But most of all, over the festive season, I will endeavour to spend time with everyone I care about, and push the seasonal stresses to one side, and make sure they know exactly how I feel and how grateful I am to have them in my life. Because Christmas brings the sparkle for a season, but friends and family? They keep it there for life.

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Post title: Coca Cola, ‘Holidays are coming’!
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