And so the year 2009 has arrived, amid much pomp and splendour. After waiting a few days to make sure that the world didn't somehow unravel due to the hitherto unknown Y2K9 bug, I set about writing this, my first post for the new year, with a slight shrug of the shoulders and a muted "Hmmph".
I don't come from a superstitious family, and yet I suppose every family has some family member that is at least slightly inclined to the science of coincidence. For me it's my mom, who despite her fervent denouncement of all things to do with superstition, still has one or two little beliefs that she prefers not to put to the test. If I remember right, when your left eye lid flutters it means that you're going to meet an old friend, and if your right eye lid flutters then there's a half price clearance sale within a 2km radius. Or is it that the price of gas is coming down? Rubbish really, but then again, my right eyelid has been fluttering sporadically for a while now.
However, I'm sure it is a common belief that with the dawn of the new year, it is best to start it on the right foot. Many people start the year going to various places of worship, others decide to put their resolutions into immediate effect, and for a few days the world is - a better place. The same can be said for the blogosphere - I have yet to read a depressing post on kottu, and it's been four whole days! So as I type this post, I feel somewhat compelled to write a literary masterpiece that will blow your socks off as you read it, and leave you in tears of joy and awestruck wonder, followed by a solemn slow-clap to the sound of violins and harps.
Instead, I am going to make a list. Yes, a list. Seeing as the month of December is well behind us now, I think it's safe to post this - the top 5 annoying things about the Christmas season.
5. Christmas movies
Seriously, can anyone tell me a good Christmas movie? Why is that every year we have to be exposed to these ridiculous movies that either show how a some small poor family go through hardship and suddenly have a happy ending (Home Alone, anyone?) or there's some extremely cynical old man who is shown the error of his ways and becomes a modern day Mother Teresa just in time for Christmas. Then there are Christmas slasher movies. Gotta love them.
4. We don't know what a 'White Christmas' is!
I understand that you can't really make country specific greeting cards, perhaps due to financial reasons that are beyond me. But am I the only one who feels a little ridiculous buying Christmas cards dripping with pictures of snow and snowmen and then writing "Sri Lanka" on the envelope?! I mean, this is a tropical country, and though I don't expect people to make Christmas cards adorned with bikini clad surfers, you don't exactly see me roasting chestnuts over an open fire or stepping outside in my muffler and whatnot either.
3. Better late than never? Not always...
The whole point of sending a greeting card is to say "Hi. It's all warm and fuzzy out here, and we remember you and wish you the best of the season." Yet, in these times of financial depravity and penny counting, we seemed to have developed a rather ridiculous habit of 'greet-on-receipt'. Just after Christmas we received a large number of cards from people that we had sent cards to earlier. Obviously, by observing the date of the post mark, they have sent these cards to us only after they received ours. Let's just say it kills the whole 'Christmas spirit'. Scrooge.
2. I can live without the X, thank you very much!
I know that we live in the age of text-speak, and short forms have taken on hideous new forms that are as legible as a doctor's prescription written backwards (Shilpa, you take top honours here...!). Yet I fail to understand the need to 'shorten' the word 'Christmas'. Let me analyse this a bit: apparently, by calling it 'Xmas' we are cutting off one syllable and replacing it with one syllable, thus making it just as long as the original. And this helps us how?! Sure, perhaps while hurriedly typing out a Christmas mail you find the need to shorten out the word but in a Christmas card??? I wonder what's next - "X-tian Dior"??
1. Santa does NOT attend church
Firstly, I have nothing against Santa. I'm not one of those people who say "ooh Santa is actually SATAN spelt wrong!" But I fail to understand how you can incorporate Santa into a church service. We Christians celebrate the season because of the birth of Jesus, and every year we are reminded that the whole act of gift giving is only secondary to this. So I find it a little bizarre when after the Christmas service, we send the kiddies off to meet Santa. I won't be surprised if next year I hear this from the pulpit - "Amen. And now, let us end this service by singing 'Jingle Bells'. Please put on your little red hats now."
Ah. It feels good to vent, especially since according to some of my readers I've become all 'mushy' all of a sudden. Feel free to add to the list if you like, and have a fantastic 2009!