The Most Wonderful Time of The Year
We do love a month stereotype, us humans. I’ve spoken before in defence of all the bad press January gets (take a look here) and now I do believe it is time to call bullshit on December. Do NOT get me wrong, I love an excuse for a night out as much as the next person. But December, you sure do pile the pressure on for a good time.
To me, December is like the friend who always looks immaculate but spends more time sobbing alone in her room than she’d care to admit. Sure, she’s sequin clad, at every party and full of festive ideas about how she’s going to decorate the trees with snow and ensure that all the family are gathered around the fireside together, but she never really delivers. She makes out she has good intentions, that she is all about tradition, but then ends up persuading you that you MUST have that toy for that child and or you WILL spend time with her friend January, regretting it. Thing is, you are going to visit January whatever happens and you’d quite like to be able to have some money left over to do something nice with her, like eat.
But December has quite a strategy to get you to do what she wants - she delivers messages seamlessly, via advertising and magazine articles. She makes people say daft things in magazine articles like ‘December has been absolutely magical with a baby’. In reality December with a baby is exactly the same as April with a baby - life changing and emotionally and physically challenging. The only difference being that December has encouraged you to dress your child up as a Christmas pudding and sport some very ill advised mistletoe head boppers to the work Christmas do (AVOID Tony from accounts).
So what should we do about rogue December flouncing into our lives and making us feel inadequate, skint and more than a little jealous of her flawless winter style? Well, I suggest treating her like any other friend who has sort of lost sight of her worth. December, you are good enough as you are - you don’t need to come sporting more ideas and crazy fads - remember when we met up in the 90’s? You were simpler and more honest then, and quite frankly we all preferred being around you.
And perhaps it’s the rubbish things that we got up to when you were around which make you so special to us, like a best friend who you’ve shared the worst times with but have the fondest memories of. Like the constant bickering over the ideal Christmas tree size, the traipsing in the cold to see some Christmas carols or that time you encouraged me to eat so much that I cried… (that did actually happen with July too - 5 words - all you can eat BBQ).
The thing is December, everyone likes a glamorous friend, but we really like the ones who make us feel better about ourselves, not worse. Make sure that December encourages you to see more of your loved ones. Make sure she doesn’t isolate you and keep you all for herself because of any unreasonable demands she has made. And most importantly, make sure she brings a bottle.
Don’t pile the pressure on yourself this December - no one is going to love you less if you can’t be arsed to queue for hours for some toy or if you drink too much and throw up in the wine cooler (hypothetical example, obv).
I for one, will like you more.
Have a very Happy Christmas and a bloody good New Year - embrace the chaos and open the bubbles - here's to an honest, chaotic and prosperous 2017.