Friday, 29 November 2013

Christmas, Love it or Loathe it?

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...

And I am getting grumpy.

I am not a fan of Christmas and haven't been for years.  I loved it as a child, making paper chains, covering the house, and the dog, in glitter, glitter which you were still emptying out of the vacuum cleaner at Easter, putting the tree up, putting the cards up, I even enjoyed wrapping presents.

But as I got older I started enjoying it less and less.  And any enjoyment I still had was knocked out of me by four Christmases working in retail.

As I was single and childless, I was obviously available to do every late night.  Occasionally, the late nights were planned ahead, but a lot of the time we would be informed on the 5pm regional conference call that we had to stay open until 10pm because M&S were, or Next were.  A 10pm close meant the earliest we would be out would be 10.30pm.  Being a manager I was paid for 40 hours regardless of whether I worked 40 hours or 140 hours.

Because of the hours I was working in the run up to Christmas culminating in a late night finish Christmas Eve to get ready for the Boxing Day sale, and an extra early start Boxing Day, I used to spend most of Christmas Day asleep, going to Mum and Dad's to open presents and eat lunch and then back home again. 

Mum and Dad started going to Germany for Christmas and did this for a couple of years.  The first year I spent Christmas Day with a pizza and the telly, the next year I went to a friend's house.  

I have been away for Christmas too, but I went to Spain, but it really is expensive to go.

There are adverts every Christmas reminding us to think of the old people whose only company will be the television, it's not only the older generation who can be alone.  In the past I have gone nearly a fortnight without speaking to anyone.  This was after I had been made redundant, Mum and Dad had gone on holiday on the Saturday, I had to attend the Job Centre on the Monday and I didn't see or speak to anyone then until Mum and Dad got back.

Even now, other than work and college I don't see anyone other than a couple of times a year.

I do think Christmas is for families and groups.  As a single person you do feel very left out.  I said last year that I did not want to spend this Christmas as a single person like I have all my previous 41 Christmases and New Years.  But I am.

I have volunteered to work this year, if I am going to be alone, I may as well be alone in the office using their heating and lighting as using mine!

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