Weirdly, this week is one of my favourites in the year.
It’s the time when all the exterior Christmas decorations on houses are extinguished again, and everything goes back to being properly dark.
It’s really surprising, just how much extra light pollution those decorations cause, and I just like having things back to normal.
Obviously it’s still pretty heavily grey during the day and so on, and I’ll be far happier as the days get longer again, but it’s nice to have nights back to being properly night-like again. (Also, as it turns out, I wrote something very similar two years ago)
So here we are, at the end of a true bin-fire of a year. Covid, Brexit, Lockdowns, it’s all been more than a bit bollocks, hasn’t it?
In many ways, I’ve been lucky this year – as I’ve said before, I’ve not been too badly affected. I’m still working, I’m still healthy, I’m still solvent, I’m still going.
I’m not saying that to be smug, or to belittle anyone else. I know that in many ways I’ve been fortunate, and that some of my privilege is probably showing. But equally, I’m not complacent about any of it, and I’m not going to tempt fate along the way.
In other ways, I’ve not done well at all. I’ve missed out on seeing friends, and on doing stuff – and again, I know that’s true for most people.
This year has definitely affected me, it’s left me with less motivation to do things, and with more loose ends than I’m used to. I don’t like not doing stuff, don’t like not having plans. I’m better at having plans changed last-minute – but that’s more because those things are outside my control.
I don’t know what 2021 will bring. (Obviously – no-one does. This time last year, no-one expected Covid) I do think there’s going to be a lot of hardships still to come, but I also hope it at least gets easier than 2020 has been.
Onwards and upwards, anyway. Have a good one, and let’s hope it’s a better one.
It’s been weird this year already, in that I’ve seen a number of people who’ve already put up their Christmas trees and so on, even more prematurely than usual. There seems to be a school of thought that says it’s OK because “we need something to look forward to“, but that rings with the dull plop of bullshit. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m more of the viewpoint that even if I started today, I’d be sick of the bloody event by the time it comes round. Adding another two weeks to that is surely just a way to be even more jaded about it all.
But then, as we know, I’m a grouch.
I’ve also been gobsmacked about the hysteria around “We’ve got to have our Christmas“, and the mindset that people would’ve broken all the rules in order to have “a proper normal family Christmas“. We’ll get past the horrific racism of the government being quite happy to cancel the festivals of other religions (The first Lockdown was announced less than 24 hours before Eid, and the second one blocked Diwali – and I’m fairly sure there’s been at least one more festivity that’s taken a kicking) while Christmas is apparently the be-all and end-all of UK Civilisation.
Honestly, I’ll be glad when this year’s over and done with. I don’t think 2021 is going to be any easier, although there’s some hope on the horizon with Covid vaccines etc. But it’s still looking like it’ll be another ongoing hellscape – just possibly slightly less of one than this year has been.
Again, I can’t deny, I’ve been lucky throughout the whole Covid thing this year, and I’ve been affected far less than a lot of people have. I know that, and I accept it. But I’ll still be happy to be through this year.
With Twelfth Night having just passed, it’s the time I honestly like the most – all the decorative lights are off again, and the streets return to being much darker.
I don’t really know why it makes me happier, but I noticed it again this week, that whole “Oh, this is different, it’s really nice” thing as I drove home.
I know, I’m a grouch and so on – it’s not something I could ever deny, after all.
All the real Christmas trees are down, and waiting by the bins for collection, all the lights and decorations are down, and even the radio is back to playing normal music instead of being bloody carols all the time.
I know I’m a grumpy bastard, but getting rid of all the tat for another nine months is A Very Good Thing.
Days will be getting (slightly) longer, and we’ll be over the worst.
Two weeks’ time, and we’ll be in 2019 and seeing what that brings.
How time flies when you’re having fun, eh?
Usually by now I’m totally done with it, had enough, and generally pretty fucked off with the entire thing.
This year, though, I’m just ambivalent about it. And I don’t actually know why.
We’re still being faced with the same inanity and vapid bullshit on TV adverts and the like. We’ve had Christmas Shit™ (cards, confectionary, blah blah) in the shops since September. Now we’re in December they’re playing sodding christmas carols and tunes in the shops and on the radio, and various fuckwits are already blithering about “It’s christmas”. (No it’s fucking not, it’s just December)
And on the face of that paragraph, you’d think I am hating it. But I’m not. I still feel the same, that it is all crap and bollocks, but it’s not enraging me this year the same way it has in the past.
It annoys me that I don’t know why it’s not annoying me as much as usual. But I’m also not going to complain – in some ways it’s quite nice to be a wee bit more tolerant of the whole farce than usual.
I don’t like (let alone love) the season and what it does to people – and I honestly doubt I ever will. But at least this year I also don’t hate it the same way I usually do.