The Annual Humbug Address
It’s that time of year again and I wonder; can there be anyone still surprised by my annual “Bah Humbug” ambivalence towards all the seasonal activities?
It may be the ‘season to be jolly’ but I don’t need anything (or anyone) to tell me when to be happy. I’m always happy inside and content with myself and what I have. Yes, it’s the a time of ‘goodwill to all men’ but… shouldn’t we actually be like that throughout the year – every year – not just at Christmas?
Regular visitors will note that I tend to write a similar themed post to this every year. It’s not that I’m a miserable git, far from it. Neither do I take some great pleasure from raining on everyone’s festive parade, each to their own however; my seasonal angst is mostly born out of witnessing the high levels of hypocrisy displayed at this time of year. Falseness that is mostly presented in an self-interested attempt to enhance one’s own self-worth in the humanity stakes.
The traditionally understood Christmas values actually disappeared decades ago. It’s now little more than a period of self-indulgence, an opportunity to show off or score points against family and friends. Overt commercialism and grotesque levels of excess (and waste) are unfortunately the abundant and prominent signs of Christmas.
Like many I suppose, I lost my ‘Christmas magic’ feeling as I departed childhood. I have travelled increasingly further away from that childish warmth about Christmas as every year passed me by. For the vast majority of my adult life, the ‘festive’ period has simply been just another working day for me. As I’ve grown older, this time of year has almost always provided me with yet another massive reality check. All the contrived happiness can’t ever disguise all that is wrong in our world or all that is wrong with so many human beings. I don’t see any change to that any time soon and a few mince pies and decorations aint likely to change that viewpoint.
Countries are still waging war against each other, we have global warming and there is still famine. We still have poor people and too many people are homeless, even in the so-called Western Civilised World. Sadly people still die from preventable illnesses, let alone the untreatable terminal ones, or they simply succumb to old age. People still beat hell out of their partners and/or children. People still judge and hate others for stereotypical reasons. People still get drunk, get violent, cause social disturbance or worse, drive their cars have accidents and seriously injure or kill people. People accidentally succumb to the effects of addictions or choose to take their own life, simply because they can’t deal with the constant barrage of issues and problems thrown at them.
This time of year is actually the most difficult to deal with for many people. Many of the realities that life can throw at us don’t stop for Christmas. Just like any other time of the year, the ‘Grim Reaper’ doesn’t stop work just because someone told him it was time to be happy and party.
Finally, how many of you (hand on heart) can say that you’ve actually been good people all year? Who can say they’ve been a source of constant value and example to their families, a great neighbour or solid valued member of our society? Who can say they have always put the needs of others before their own self-interests? If you’ve never contributed in any way shape or form to damaging our fragile world or, haven’t added to the many problems facing our society, and you can answer an honest and emphatic “yes” to at least some of the questions above then have a very merry and enjoyable holiday.
Failing that… Happy Christmas My Arse and Bah Humbug!
Addendum: Yet more evidence from www.russellwebster.com to support my “Bah Humbug” status for the ‘festive’ season… The Frontline Battle is an inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm into the impact of alcohol on Emergency Services. The report reveals the full extent of the pressures and dangers of alcohol related problems placed on Emergency Services discussing the impact on staff, the impact on service provisions and the effect on time and resources…(More)