15 Christmas Things to Get excited About!
By James P. Smythe
Posted on December 15, 2014 in Hodderscape Advent with tags James P. Smythe
As it’s nearly Christmas, the most festive of holidays, I wanted to write about the things that we should be most excited about over the next few weeks. 15 items for the 15th day of December! Get excited! I know that I am.
1. THE CHRISTMAS CAT.
Imagine a Christmas Cat! That just sounds really lovely, doesn’t it? God, a cat. Who doesn’t love a cat? Nobody, that’s who! Well, apart from the Icelanders. Because they’ve got Jólakötturinn, the Christmas Cat. Remember that thing about being naughty and nice – and we’re going to get to that rule later on in this list – and how you have to be good or you don’t get any presents? Well, not in Iceland. In Iceland, you’re good or you’re sacrificed to Jólakötturinn, who will eat you. I reckon you’re safe, though. Your cat is probably not evil. It’s probably not going to eat you while you sleep if you’ve told any lies this year.
Just imagine that it snows, that you have to be stuck inside. Sooner or later you’ll need to shovel that snow away, right? You’ll need to get out there and build a snowman, and get down and dirty in that wonderful white powder! Such a joy! Let’s just hope you’re not one of the people who dies clearing away the snow. Not even having fun in it – just clearing it away. Let’s cross our fingers!
3. CHRISTMAS DAY!
Oh wow, Christmas Day! Wake up, open presents, eat all that amazing food until you’re sick, and then – probably – die. What? You’re surprised? Don’t be. You’re more likely to die on Christmas Day than any other day of the year. So, you know: why not ask for a Make Your Own Will kit for Christmas? Just make sure to fill it out on the 24th, eh?
4. CHRISTMAS TREES!
Oh Christmas tree! Oh Christmas tree! How lovely are your branches? I’ll bet you’ve got one, and I’ll bet those branches are Do you know why? Because it was alive once. A few weeks ago, it was plugged into the ground, roots finding nutrients. Plants can’t feel, can they? We’re sure they can’t. Only, we’re not. All we know is that they react to stimuli, searching for food and light. Do you know what else does that? Humans and animals and all other living things. Do we think? I’m pretty sure we do. But trees don’t. I’m sure they don’t. Because if they did, they would be in your house screaming while you dress their slowly dying body in fancy lights and plug it into the mains and then hang things from its aching branches, and sit there and gawp at it, laughing and giggling while it slowly passes on. But if it was alive, we’d hear it screaming, wouldn’t we? I mean, if it had a mouth, which it doesn’t. Still: I’ll bet it looks really pretty.
Not everybody believes in Santa Claus. I do, sure, and you probably do as well. But some people believe in another kindly old gent who comes to you at Christmas. That’s right, it’s the Krampus! He’s a bit like the devil, and he’s got a long tongue, and if you’ve been bad he puts a stick on your windowsill to let you know that he’s going to come and take you away in his bag. But that’s just a story, right? It’s not like it’s real. Not like Santa.
Oh yeah, Santa’s not real. You were lied to.
7. SANTA 2: THE RECKONING!
But if he were… Imagine. Santa’s just awful. He holds the world to ransom, demanding that people are “good” in a way that plays along with his own moral code, or he deprives you. As we saw, he let Rudolph get bullied. I’m betting that his elves aren’t unionised. Mrs Claus? I mean, we don’t even know what she really looks like. He could take her out once in a while, give her a chance to be a part of his empire. And he comes to your house, usually uninvited – it’s not like you have a choice, assuming you’ve played along with his awful binary right-or-wrong rule – and then he eats your food and drink. He doesn’t know that you left it out for him! That glass of drink? That biscuit or carrot or whatever? Maybe you were saving them for Christmas morning, for you to enjoy. Or some Dickensian orphan! Santa eats all that food, drinks that warming brandy or milk or whatever, doesn’t give any of it to those who might actually need it. He’s an awful, selfish man. Then he leaves you presents. Doesn’t want any thanks. All he wants is your worship.
8. SANTA 3!
I cannot stress enough, however, that he simply is not real.
You love Rudolph, right? Everybody does. He’s just adorable, with his nose and his cuddly persona, and the fact that he’s been made an outcast because he’s got a very shiny nose (which, if you ever saw it, you would probably say glowed). But the story is pretty sad, because he was bullied, and the thoroughly evil Santa Claus didn’t protect him. He let the other “normal” reindeer bully him – and deprive him of playing their really fun reindeer games – and then put the sad Rudolph to work. His is a story of neglect and abuse, and you idolise him. Poor, poor Rudolph.
10. OTHER REINDEER!
But of course, Rudolph wasn’t actually real either. Reindeer are, though. Here’s the thing: reindeer are harbingers of disease and pestilence. They’re riddled. Their meat is predominantly cured before eating, because there’s such a risk of it being tainted. Doesn’t stop them being eaten, mind you.
Oh my word how I love presents. I’ll bet you do as well. And we love how happy others are to receive said presents, don’t we? Well, look at this Twitter feed, and feel bad for humanity. Might as well burn everything you’ve already struggled through the shops to buy. They’ll be more grateful for the ashes, probably.
12. CHRISTMAS MEAT!
Let’s put aside the strain that we’re putting on the planet, for a second, and how the pillaging of our world that will mean your great-great-grandkids end up eating Soylent Green for Christmas dinner, and let’s focus on meat. Because, crikey, meat really is one of the best things we have. (Some people are vegetarians, but they almost certainly aren’t getting any presents this year – I’m pretty sure that Santa won’t approve of such restraint.) Anyway, meat. Meat comes from a butcher, so a Christmas butcher should be a person of wonder, right? Wrong. Pere Fouttard – ‘Father Whipper’ – was a French butcher who killed children so that he could eat them. Apparently then they were resurrected by St Nicholas, which might make this story not strictly true, but where there’s smoke there’s usually probably always fire. So yeah: child cannibalism.
13. NICE OLD PEOPLE!
Remember the Christmas Cat? So, he belongs to Gryla. Gryla is a nice old lady ogress who kidnaps, cooks and eats the naughty children of Iceland. Presumably she shares with the cat? Oh, and her sons, the Yule Lads (what a fun bunch! Lads lads lads!) who also kidnap and eat people. So, to recap: cats, lads and old women will all eat you, given half a chance.
14. STAR WARS!
I don’t know about you, but I like to watch Star Wars at Christmas. Watch this and remember how good it is. Go on.
Last, but by no means least, comes you. You, wonderful consumer. You, happy-go-lucky buyer of things for people. You, who contribute to increased global warming levels over Christmas; who fills landfills with old tinsel and abandoned toys; who gluttonously scoffs Lindt balls and panettone and fancy oranges; you who drinks too much and thinks lusty thoughts before passing out; who watches Eastenders and probably Strictly Come Dancing and Downton Abbey (even though you say you hate it); you who prays for an Only Fools And Horses rerun, just to see Delboy fall through that bar One More Time; who wants to play boards games but not for the fun of playing, but for the joy of winning; you, who loves buying presents for others, but does wonder if – financially – you are coming out on top in a ‘Did They Spend As Much On Me As I Did On Them’ internal war; who lies to your children about a fat man and his idiot deer. You. MERRY CHRISTMAS, you. You deserve everything that’s coming to you.