“’Tis the season to be jolly but it is also the season to be jolly careful,” said the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his last speech on post-lockdown changes prior to Christmas. Clearly a stickler for Crimbo tradition, his ridiculous attempt at delivering a message that was both warning and jovial seemed to fall flat among my entourage. One quick scroll though my Instagram feed was enough to confirm what I already expected; people were starting to celebrate Christmas early this year.
Binge in December, purge in January—that’s usually the way it goes. Is it really wise for people to look forward to a somewhat normal end of year celebration? Let’s look at the bigger picture here. Is a big Christmas, paid for by yet another lockdown really what we want this year? Personally, I couldn’t care less about Christmas 2020, but what I do worry about is starting 2021 off on the wrong foot.
January is already hard enough as it is; from its very first day, spent by most of us in bed, suffering from the worst hangover of the year, to the rest of the post-Christmas guilt and diets. Doesn’t sound very jolly, right? Now imagine a few Januarys in repeat because of a new lockdown as a repercussion of our Christmas over indulgence. As we await mass vaccination in the UK, which will undeniably take a few months, shouldn’t we keep Christmas celebrations on the down-low?
If I haven’t managed to convince you yet, try to imagine the many positives of spending this year’s Christmas with only a few VIPs—and by that I mean the people you currently live with or your support bubble. First, your annoying uncle who always ends up getting too drunk on the Baileys won’t be here to ask you if you actually know that tattoos are a lifetime commitment, and you won’t have to snap back with a snarky comment like ‘what about your marriage?’
Secondly, forget about the pressure that comes with cooking a full Christmas dinner! The yearly number of arguments that result from the buildup stress of feeding a complete family ready to gorge themselves on Brussel sprouts and pigs in blankets is probably equal to the US’ current COVID-19 cases so far. Last but not least, you’ll be keeping your cash. ‘Out of sight out of mind’ works with Christmas presents too, I know that for a fact.
Don’t get me wrong, I can also see why you might feel like the least you deserve for 2020 is a proper Christmas-do just like in the good old times. We’ve all been through a lot and a bit of ‘normality’ couldn’t hurt. Well, actually, it potentially could. On top of that, a poll published in this weekend’s Observer found that over half of the UK public would rather have a lockdown Christmas with fewer restrictions than new restrictions in January—54 per cent, more precisely.
And what about the ones who don’t celebrate Christmas in the first place? Those who were forced to mark Passover, Eid or Diwali at a distance this year and who now have every right to wonder why Christmas gets a special treatment.
I’ve always been somewhat of a cynical person, but this Christmas, I’m bound to be the Grinch on steroids. “And they’ll feast, feast, feast, feast. They’ll eat their Who-Pudding and rare Who-Roast Beast. But that’s something I just cannot stand in the least.” Enjoy your few tense days with the family and make sure you steer clear of any Brexit conversations. Merry (early) Christmas.