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Surviving a Lonely Christmas

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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

I hadn't thought about Christmas at all until I ran into a friend of mine in town. Quivering with excitement she pointed to the parched green pine tree strapped to the roof of her dusty jeep. She was joyful AND triumphant. As she gleefully skipped and bounced away, I squinted my eyes into the sun and thought, "oh right... Christmas... didn't we do that already?"
 
Later that night Facebook informed me that she was decorating the Christmas tree in her bikini. I made an important note to self - must be more festive!! Over the next few days I did spend more time in my bikini, but sort of missed the point because I wasnt doing anything festive at the time. Must try harder!
 
Christmas has rolled around so fast this year that I'm inclined to believe the rumour amongst certain segments of the population who believe time is speeding up as we reach the end of the Mayan Calendar (that's a story for another day.) Unfortunately I just don't feel Christmassy. Perhaps because all my friends and family are on the other side of the world (I sulkily imagine them all having fun without me - possibly wearing matching Christmas sweaters and laughing loudly with their heads thrown back). Perhaps because, even though I'm used to Christmas in the New Zealand "summer", watching the local Costa Ricans hang pictures of merry snowmen and snowflakes in their windows as the hot equatorial sun bears down just feels unnecessary and masochistic. Where did they get these snowflake decorations from? It's never snowed in Costa Rica. I guess there's a market for selling cardboard snowflakes just about anywhere... at the right time of year at least (in pious honour of Jesus and the Saints and all the Profits).
 
Despite the fact that I am scheduled to work all through Christmas and New Years (in the interest of my own profits), it disturbs me that with only a couple of sleeps to go, I still have not felt the least bit inclined to dust of my Santa Stocking and hang it somewhere noticably festive, in the hope that Saint Nick (a.k.a. Me) will at some stage fill it with something nice (I have been eying a big box of chocolates in the supermarket for a while now). I've been reasonably good this year... But rewarding myself with a Santy Sack full of goodies just isn't the same as buying sweet gift combos for all my loved ones at The Warehouse.  
 
My solo attempt at festivity did lead to a brief scan of my iPod to check for Christmassy songs and I was pleased to find a Punk Rock Christmas mix, which includes such classics as "Have a Homo Christmas" and "I saw Mummy doing Santa Claus" .... Festive music? Check! Slight confusion as to how and when I got this music on my iPod? - check!
 
After a good 30 seconds of soul-searching, I realise another reason why I'm not totally amped about celebrating Chirstmas this year is because I'm also being a tight-ass. Granted, I did take the time to post some cashew nuts to my Dad and some inappropriate literature to my best friend, but Christmas stuff on the whole is quite expensive and frankly, I'd rather go to Cuba (paid for the tickets today - woo!).  
 
Aside from the money thing, I really would like to devise a way to celebrate Christmas so that I don't end up depressed and bored on Christmas Eve. Typically this would be the time of year when I'd whip out my secret recipe for Gingerbread Men and bake for needy children or something, but I used up the last of my Golden Syrup supply in July, when I made gingerbread men for my birthday party and my drunk friends decorated them by icing on genitals and eye-patches. No, I will have to think of something else...
 
As much as I'd like to magically awake on Christmas Day, filled with the Christmas Spirit and extraordinary feelings of goodwill, being a relatively cheerful person throughout the other 11 months of the year, I think that phenomenon is especially reserved for hardened criminals, like the Grinch, the Bloody Red Baron and McDonalds (McDonalds do not increase their prices on public holidays to cover staff wages for time and a half. God bless them). Will the Christmas Spirit awaken within me if it miraculously snows on Friday morning? (We have been having unseasonal rain in Costa Rica). My brother woke me up on Christmas morning one year crying (in an English accent) "Is it snowing? Is it snowing yonder?" In the haste of ripping open the curtains to check for snow, he smacked me in the head and I got a fat, bleeding lip. Turns out it wasn't snowing - but I did have the Christmas Spirit then. So what is it?
 
I like being with the people I care about. Seeing the faces of my brothers when they exchange gifts with each other ("That DVD's only hired, it has to go back on Monday"), plotting bizarre and often inappropriate holiday passtimes with friends, avoiding relatives we don't like, and baking gingerbread men that I know won't end up lying decapitated in a puddle of beer... (well, maybe they will). That's where the Christmas Spirit is!
 
Maybe I'll pass on Christmas this year. Without my family, it's just another day. 
 

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