I’m writing this from a brand new Kindle Fire, courtesy of my parents for Christmas. It’s taking a little getting used to but I love it already.
It’s been a good haul for Christmas this year, despite money being tight as always. I’ve got some more Marvel socks, always welcome. I’ve got a beautiful clay mug from Kazakhstan from my sister. And a folding director’s chair with my name on it from Tonks. And a metric fuckton of sweets. That’s more than an Imperial fuckton, you know. A good year for presents.
“Oh, it’s not about the presents,” I hear you cluck disapprovingly. “It’s about family, love, the milk of human kindness, goodwill to all.”
It’s about the presents. And the food. And family, love, the milk of human so on and so forth. But yes, the presents take prime place. Oh stop looking at me like that, like I’m a Grinch or a Humbug. You know I’m right. I am!
Ok, alright, here’s a quick experiment for you. Next Christmas, don’t buy anyone a present. Visit them instead and say your present is spending quality time with them. Watch the brief procession of emotions: confusion, annoyance, disappointment, the self doubt, the breakdown of all civilised behaviour and finally polite mock appreciation. Then, once they’ve recovered from the shock, take them to McDonalds for their Christmas dinner.
Point taken, I assume?
So spare me the outrage and the indignation, please and thank you. You know I’m right.
That said, I’m not trying to rail against the evils of capitalism here. Giving and receiving gifts is a wonderful feeling, and a good way to show your appreciation for everything your friends and family do for you. Just, you know, don’t be an arsehole the rest of the year and expect a nice pyjama set and a scented candle to make up for it.
Because you see, goodwill and love aren’t just for December. You don’t shower your family with love and affection and then abuse them the rest of the year. I’m not the best at keeping touch, even when my family live relatively close by, but they’re never far from my mind. I hope they know that if they ever need me, I’ll be there.
Next year, remember to show the people you love how much they mean to you all year round. But also get then good presents, because otherwise they will hunt you down and cast you out into the wilderness, cold and hungry and presentless.
Merry Christmas all!