Sunday, 22 December 2013

"It wouldn't be Christmas without..."

Of all the crass and ridiculous things people say around Christmas time (and there are many), I think the expression I detest most is the saying "It wouldn't be Christmas without..." (narrowly beating people who describe the Christmas period as "magical", and people who talk about "feeling 'Christmassy'").

Even outside of the unrealistically schmaltzy and saccharine world of television advertising, I hear people saying "It wouldn't be Christmas without..." all the time.  The range of things without which Christmas simply couldn't happen gets wider and wider all the time - and more and more unnecessary.

It wouldn't be Christmas without roast turkey!  It wouldn't be Christmas without a Christmas tree!  It wouldn't be Christmas without crackers!  It wouldn't be Christmas without mulled wine!  It wouldn't be Christmas without knitted sausage rolls!  It wouldn't be Christmas without Eastenders!  It wouldn't be Christmas without Monopoly!  It wouldn't be Christmas without third-degree burns!


The fact is, actually, it would still be Christmas.  It would still be Christmas even if you spent Christmas day doing your tax return and eating pickled onions.

You might think this is little more than quibbling pedantry, but I would beg to differ; the real problem with "It wouldn't be Christmas without..." is that it perpetuates our society's insistence on defining Christmas not by anything meaningful but by all the needless trappings of the season - the hype, the peripheral stuff.

Everybody has their own little rituals around Christmas time, but these are largely incidental and quite arbitrary - Christmas itself is not defined by how you do (or don't) usually celebrate it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be Christmas without rants like this!

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