Christmas again! If any of you have been following this site’s editorial blog, Sleaze Diary, it can’t have escaped your notice that this year I’ve been much more kindly disposed to the festive season than usual. Now, whilst I’d like to say that this was the result of having been visited by three ghosts who showed me the error of my ways via a series of terrifying visions of my past, present and future, sadly, nothing that exciting ever happens to me. No, I blame it all on the recession. Thanks to the economic downturn, people have clearly felt that they should be a bit less ostentatious about Christmas this year. Consequently, I haven’t had other people’s Christmases shoved down my throat for what seems like months on end, as usually happens. I haven’t been bombarded by TV programmes and adverts telling me how its my duty to be ecstatically happy at this time of year and spend lots of money. This year, being miserable has been in. Looking happy during a recession is apparently very unhappy. The end result of this has been me feeling very happy. Being a contrary sort of bastard, if everyone else is having a low-key celebration, then I’ll push the boat out. Hah! After years of you bastards flaunting your Christmases at me, see how you like seeing me living it up whilst you all eat gruel and exchange pieces of coal as gifts! Actually, one of the main casualties of the Christmas recession I’ve noticed this year have been those bloody awful displays of external festive lights I love to hate. So piss poor have the light displays been, that I’m even considering putting up my own. Again, it comes down to my contrariness, so if external Christmas lights are no longer fashionable, then I definitely want some of my own! Mind you, I’ve already run into some difficulties. Apparently there have been some complaints about the fact that my external lights form the words ‘Merry Fuckmas’, and the council is threatening t take out an ASBO against me. I’m hoping that my recreation of the nativity scenes using blow up sex dolls, featuring the ‘Three Queens’ bearing gifts of a dildo, vibrator and cock ring, which I’m planning to mount on my roof, will prove more acceptable. If not, I’ll just have to resort to that giant Santa who drops his trousers and farts out artificial snow – how could anybody object to that?
But don’t let my new found enthusiasm for some aspects of the festivities fool you – there are still some aspects of Christmas to which I remain firmly opposed. Office Christmas parties, for instance. Now, I’ve undoubtedly mentioned before my antipathy towards these abominations – I attended one in 1988 and that put me off for life. It was my first and only such occasion. I’ve avoided the bloody things ever since. A friend of mine was recently trying to convince me that they were great for casual sex, as everyone is so pissed their inhibitions melt away. Which is all very well, but he’s never met the people I work with. Anyway, regardless of the fact that I’ve never been to an office Christmas party in all my time with my current employer, every bloody year I get a sodding e-mail (usually in July), canvassing me as to what sort of ‘do’ we should have this year. It seems to be impossible to get removed from that distribution list. Getting back to the point, it appears that simply having a seasonal get-together is no longer enough – the e-mails always outline various alternative ‘themes’ offered by the favoured venue. You know the sort of thing: 1920s gangsters, circus freaks or S&M dungeons. For God’s sake, whatever happened to having a Christmas theme for your festive party? But, getting to the point, lately I’ve noticed some of those temporary AA road signs, directing people to ‘Christmas at the OK Corral’. The mind boggles! It is hard to think of a less fitting theme for a Christmas party, corporate or otherwise, than the most famous gunfight in the history of the west. For a start, if memory serves me correctly, the actual gunfight took place in October, not at bloody Christmas! Pedantry aside, how exactly can men with handle bar moustaches shooting up a bunch of cattle rustlers be considered in any way festive? It hardly encompasses the spirit of goodwill to all men, now does it? I’m also somewhat confused as to how it works – do the party goers enjoy their Christmas meal whilst watching the bloody shoot-out being re-enacted by the staff? I must say that I wouldn’t fancy having a waiter in the guise of Doc Holliday – the man was riddled with TB and forever coughing up blood. That’s hardly hygienic, is it? Perhaps the re-enactment is conducted in a family-friendly festive way – Billy Clanton is felled with a mince pie to the gut, but not before he wings Morgan Earp with some spray-on cream. Doubtless, Wyatt Earp will bring down Tom and Frank McClowery with an expertly thrown fully basted turkey, whilst Doc gets Ike Clanton with a blast of sawn-off sausage rolls. If it’s a success then next year they could do the Battle of Little Big Horn, with enthralled party goers witnessing General Custer and his troops massacred by Crazy Horse and his braves hurling flaming Christmas puddings…
But it isn’t just the idea of ‘celebrating’ Christmas with a bunch of strangers I simply happen to work with (and who are even less appealing than usual when drunk), which irritates me. It’s bloody Christmas cards from workmates, too! Completely ignoring the fact that I have never given a card to anybody at work in ten years there, and despite the fact that every year I reiterate the fact that I’d really rather not receive any cards, they just keep on coming. I have drawers full of unopened cards. Really. I have. Whilst this may all seem trivial, the problem is that it can cause real friction, when you have colleagues who take it as some kind of personal affront if you don’t reciprocate. Which is why, every bloody year, I try to make my position absolutely clear. But they don’t bloody listen! I can’t say that my aversion to Christmas cards is based on any point of principle. There was a time that I did send them. Over the years I started to question just why I was bothering to send them. Half the people I was sending them to were, at best, acquaintances I rarely, if ever, saw in the flesh, whilst the people I did give a damn about, I was likely to see over the festive period and could, therefore, give my greetings to personally. Unless you make your own, hand crafted cards, then what you send is a mass produced, de-personalised commercial item. I genuinely believe that any seasonal greetings one gives should be heartfelt and sincere. Which is why I confine them to people I really care about and always make them personally. So, faithful sleaze hounds, I ‘d like to take this opportunity to wish you all, personally, season’s greetings!