Christmas is well and truly upon us and as I think about the forthcoming festivities my mind begins to wander to the characters and old faces I may bump into (either happily or reluctantly) this Christmas time. Over Christmas many of us do find ourselves in the company of those less desirable members of our social orbit. Whilst reflecting on past Christmases I realise that Christmas can definitely change certain personalities. Much like some genteel, serene women can morph into Bridezilla in the lead up to their wedding, the same can be said of some people around Christmas time. Dramatic character alterations can take place, some for the better and some undeniably for the worse. Here are my observations of the opposing characters of Christmas.
The Summer Shoppers vs The Christmas Eve Panickers
We all know a “summer shopper” liberally doused in a stench of overpowering smugness they love to tell everyone who will listen how they have had ALL their shopping bought, wrapped, cards written with stamps on and have accumulated enough savings to begin their Christmas shopping for the following year on Boxing Day. Although I would love to be slightly more organised than the pure chaos that has consumed me, I still wouldn’t really want to Christmas shop too far in advance. I enjoy the odd peaceful Christmas shop and having the opportunity to look for little gifts for other people. I think that a little of the Christmas magic would be missing if all presents were bought in mid June.
Juxtaposed to the “summer shopper” is the Christmas Eve Panickers. They have spent weeks saying “we’ve got ages yet” and likely complain about the shops putting out Christmas gifts earlier and earlier. Suddenly they realise it’s the last weekend before Christmas and they have nothing. The panic sets in and heat begins to rise. They madly rush to the shops and inwardly weep as they realise the majority of decent gifts have been purchased. They celebrate when they find some of the hidden bargains in the reduced sections of department store. Relieved, that once again they have managed to succeed in another last-minute Christmas, they return home to wrap their gifts only to realise they have forgotten the cello tape.
The Bah Humbugs vs The Faux Christmas Lovers
The Bah Humbugs are widely known Christmas characters thanks to Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge. Continually whining about the amount of people in the shops, prices of items, the commercialisation of it all and commonly heard saying “back in my day we got a Satsuma if we were lucky.” Although the majority of this façade melts away on the day, as the warmth of Christmas defrosts their moaning souls and fills them with a moment of fleeting Christmas cheer.
There is one type of person in particular that irritates me and they are people with fake personalities. Pretending they are dumb to be cute, pretending to be posh/rich to impress someone etc. The Faux Christmas Lover is someone who is usually grouchy and cynical all year round, yet at Christmas decides they are Santa’s number one helper. Squealing with delight every time someone mentions Christmas festivities and adorning themselves in tinsel from 1st of December, to portray the image of the spirit of Christmas. However come January 1st they are back to their miserable selves.
The Seasonal Alcoholics vs The Festive Foodie
Not quite opposing, as many of us can indulge as both, but the Seasonal Alcoholic and the Festive Foodie are great characters to be around at Christmas. The Seasonal Alcoholic will begin their first drink from the first, fine notes of Wham “Last Christmas” and end on a shaky hair of the dog, on the train, that desolate, first day back to work in January.
The Festive Foodie may diet and exercise the whole year through but at Christmas time the shackles of slimming are released. Loading their shopping trolleys with full fat cream, real butter, chocolate galore and all the other amazingness which contribute to the food-coma that only Christmas will bring.
There is one more group of characters that deserve a special mention in this post and they are of course… children. Working as a teacher and having many younger cousins I find it amusing to witness the different stages of Christmas personality in children as they mature. Below is my breakdown:
0 to 2 – As magical as it is on your child’s first Christmas with them dressed as a little Christmas pudding, a room filled with carefully wrapped presents, let’s be honest they don’t really understand what it’s about. My 20 month old is just beginning to understand that something magical is happening but I think the majority of that is felt from the excitement of his older siblings.
3 to 8 – The magical age where threats of “Santa is watching” work a treat and the excitement is contagious to the point you are almost questioning whether perhaps it could all be real after all!
9 to 12 – The questions begin as the children begin to notice the little inaccuracies; the left out roll of wrapping paper, the delivery from Amazon, the snippets of conversations between parents. Little Johnny’s big brother has told them Santa’s not real and finally their investigation concludes and they know the truth. This can go two ways:
1. They confront you with the evidence and you are forced to admit the truth.
2. They pretend they don’t know, in fear that it will mean they won’t receive any presents this year.
Whichever character you are at Christmas I hope you have a wonderful day and embrace the complete jumble of personalities that are thrown together on this one day of the year.
PS. voting is still live for the UK Blog awards and I am still bugging those who love my work and feel I deserve a well earned night out at an awards ceremony to vote for me here on this link! Many thanks as always.