Sunday, 18 December 2011

Full of Christmas cheery grumpiness

Christmas won’t be Christmas without any anti-Christmas grumpiness,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
“It’s so dreadful to be full of Christmas cheer!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress and stack of Christmas cards still to be signed (sealed, delivered, I'm yours!)
“I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things to complain about, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
“We’ve got Father and Mother, and each other to argue with,” said Beth contentedly from her corner.

I don't know why it's happening, but in the last 3-4 days I managed to stumble in a whole series of Christmas grumpiness. Yes, Scrooge has been set free yet again and is roaming the street. No pity for anybody.

Everywhere I turn, every newspaper I read is full of doom and gloom.
I'm not talking about big international news. Wars, poverty, madness don't go on holiday for Christmas.
But grumpiness seems to be spread all over the rest of our everyday life.

So it seems impossible to avoid complains about anything
You turn left and here's somebody complaining about Christmas shopping: yeah! Down with the consumer society,  all these people overcrowding streets and malls for thoughtless, inconsiderate shopping spree, don't they know we're in a global crunch, doomed to a 2012 in 
Ok, I do my shopping online then, so I don't stand in anybody's way and save some money; Rather than freezing to death, I stay warm at home, so I can also read some newspapers and bah, humbug! Articles over articles about this blasted Dickens flooding TV schedules with his high expectations and Christmas carols! Not to mention the cookery programs shot in August! And EastEnders!
Ok, so I'm done with my shopping; since I can't bother to read about how terrible is to watch Jamie Oliver, I decide to watch him straight on telly instead.
But no, I'm not safe with TV as there seems to be a trend of programs trying to show that the Christmas spirit is lost and our society is doomed, etc.

I am trying to be grumpy as well, so i can blend in better. I am trying to be grumpy about grumpiness, but I'm failing, as I can't help myself smiling while complaining. I could be grumpy about failing to be grumpy about people being grumpy, but I do realize I might fail in that too, with the risk of spiralling down in a grumpy-cause-I-fail-to-be-grumpy never-ending spiral.

Now, it's not that my life is wonderful, and furthermore I got no Clarence beside me to make me think otherwise.
Still every year faced with the moral dilemma of how should I feel this time of the year, I more or less reach always the same conclusions on the matter.
I am fully aware Christmas got very little to do with religion for most of the people and it has nothing to do with religion for me. I don't care how materialistic we can become in December, how greedy we are when kids in Africa starve: they do starve and die also from January to November and it's not that we care more about them in those 11 months when our brain is not filled with thoughts about Christmas lunch and what to do on New Year's Eve.
It's something quite bipolar actually: on one hand I am very cynic about goody-goody feelings, but yet I'm drawned to the festive mood.
I can't help myself, (maybe) below this thick layer of cynicism and distrust, there's a Pollyanna waiting to emerge.

It snowed tonight over Haarlem: frozen snow, as it's too cold for real, soft snow. But it did put me in a lovely mood, a mood that will last till tomorrow morning, when I'll have to skate my way to the bus stop. By then I'm pretty sure I'll be the best Ebenezer ever!


  1. Thank you :)
    I hope that you have a lovely Christmas.

  2. I have a theory: I think people are exhibiting Christmas grumpiness so that they won't be suspected of being overly sentimental about Christmas. But then as the day moves closer: then they can, and do, indulge anyway! A bit as if as long as they're grumpy beforehand, they can then allow themselves free reign on indulging their inner kid.
    I rest this theory on my own grumpiness in the run-up, and then then the weirdly sudden enthusiasm for the whole thing after all!
    My two cents' worth.

  3. The more I think about your theory, Giselle, the more I find it spot on! :-)