|Christmas is a very different time of year for me, compounded by the fact that as well as not celebrating it, I don’t have anyone to spend the day with. I don’t object to the festivities at all; it’s great fun, and I enjoy spending time with my friends and getting involved in the celebrations. But it doesn’t have any meaning for me beyond that, and I’d actually like to work on Christmas Day (which I sort of did, with a token piece of university study).
In the below (almost certainly staged) Twitter exchange, it’s not so much the predictable retort that got me thinking, it was the original question. Why shouldn’t I be able to work on Christmas Day? At least one other person in my office feels the same way, but we have a mandatory Xmas holiday, in which the workplace is closed. Of course, some people do work over the holidays but it’s viewed as a major chore (because apparently work at all other times is not a chore?). And so little is open or operational on Christmas Day that if you want to make it a normal day, it’s just not possible.
So what about my day? And what about my Christmas in general? As for most people, it began long before the 25th. I attended five Xmas dinners and parties before we even finished work for the holidays. I’ll be attending more parties and doing Christmassy stuff for the rest of the holiday, as well as the all-important New Year do. But Christmas Day was mine alone.
I started the day with some volunteer work – I figured that seeing as I wouldn’t be celebrating the day, I’d do something for people less fortunate than me. I spend Christmas alone through choice, but the day isn’t always a good one for many people, alone or not.
I finished work early in the morning, so I got some well-earned sleep until 2pm. I didn’t feel bad about wasting half the day in bed because, hey, the day is mine to do with as I please, and I have to sleep at some point. After this, I had a hearty breakfast of crisps and Wagon Wheels, and set off on an epic walk. I probably did about 10 miles in all, with a pit stop halfway for a Christmas Curry. A pretty good Christmas dinner by my reckoning, and I didn’t have to cook a thing. Thank goodness there are still kebab shops open on Christmas Day (they said they were doing a roaring trade and opening up on the Thursday – the 25th – really suited them as they could gear up properly for the weekend).
When I got home, I started my evening watching videos on YouTube. My favourite channels are TEDx Talks and The Atheist Experience. Then I decided to get off my butt and do some chores (but not too many, it’s Xmas Day for crap’s sake!). During my mini tidy-fest, I cleared out my wardrobe and realised that I really need to buy some new trousers: everything is too big – hurrah!
Then I did a tiny, tiny bit of my Literature Review. But it all counts, right? The day was completed by two hours of Fallout 3, accompanied by vodka and orange, and the odd cup of tea. Now if that’s not a perfect Christmas, I don’t know what is.