Although many normal human beings seem to be signed-up to an ‘any excuse for a party’ attitude, generally-speaking – since I’m not a great one for organised jolliness – the whole Christmas/New Year festive thing tends to pass me by.
It’s nothing to do with me being un-religious. I just don’t ‘get’ the obsession with manic shopping sprees, all the paraphernalia of Christmas (tinsel, Christmas trees lights, decorations, silly Santa hats etc.), card-sending, cocktail parties, three or more days of successive over-eating, sitting in front of the television at 3.00pm for the Queen’s Christmas message, and so on.
I haven’t seen in the New Year – except by accident – for at least 25 years.
The reason has less to do with my status as a stereotypical ‘ba-humbug’ Scrooge type than the fact that – my habitual bedtime being 9.30pm – I can see nothing positive to be gained in deliberately staying up another 150 minutes just in order to count down to midnight, sing Auld Lang Syne, embrace everyone around me … and then, box ticked, lead the party-attendees’ rush heading for the exit to jump into our cars, or indeed taxi-cabs if we’ve been drinking, and gratefully return home to the inviting warmth of our bedroom duvets and (hopefully) a slow start the following morning – even if, in my case, that’s going to be at 0245 hours.
Inevitably, the December television schedules are given over to festive-themed programming wrapped around large blocks of familiar repeats from the past, leavened with the occasional one-off blockbuster movie getting its television premiere (this year Skyfall, the most-recent Bond outing).
The people I feel most sorry for are the regular television presenters of ‘magazine’ and chat-shows.
Whatever they’re feeling inside on a personal level, for public consumption they are forced to remain constantly upbeat and positive [control button fixed to Warp Factor 9] whilst introducing endless ‘programme year highlights’; fatuous specially-set-up Christmas events and pranks; heart-wrenching stories of family illnesses, deaths and tragedies; and an endless procession of Grade C celebrities seeking their annual 5 minutes of festive airtime in the vain hope of prolonging their careers by another few months. Doing this just once would drive me to distraction – the thought of having a career in which I had to repeat the ordeal year after year would be just too much to bear.
Roll on, January the 2nd !