Grinch’s Christmas Playlist
By Caellin Rodgers
The three stages a Grinch goes through in the lead up to Christmas.
Stage One: The Stooge
Period of time: Pre Dec 1st
I hate hate hate that Christmas stuff starts happening at the end of October now. It feels like nearly a quarter of the year is taken up by Christmas now. I bemoan when Christmas songs come on the radio, I hate the “Christmas themed” sales and specials and decorations. I hate everything about it, and wish it would all just go away. For those of you that genuinely love Christmas, let me explain why I spend pre-December in a fog of Christmas hatred – there are a handful of (I think) very valid reasons. Firstly, my birthday is November the 18th. Ask anyone born from December 20th to the 31st, they’ll tell you how much it sucks only having one ‘present time’ a year. It used to be that my birthday was a separate and distinct event from Christmas, but commercialism has crept the tradition forward so celebrations now seem to start well before – before Halloween, even – and I just want my birthday back.
Secondly, I’ve worked retail-type jobs for most of my adult life – even taking how horrible customers are over the Christmas period out of the equation – this means I usually work at least boxing day and usually Christmas Eve. This means either a stressful, exhausted Christmas day trying to drive to see family – and back – as well as celebrating Christmas, or spending Christmas day alone and unable to do anything as everything is closed. It’s not the most fun of holidays.
Third, when I lived in New Zealand, November is exam season – too busy to think about Christmas because you’re too busy studying. And in the UK, the start of Christmas celebration period means it’s going to get really cold, really soon. I’d rather have summer all year round than ever have Christmas again.
Finally, I’m an atheist. So like every other non-Christian over the holiday period, there’s no ‘special significance’ about the date – no reason to celebrate other than making relatives happy. Or participating because you feel obliged to thanks to cultural pressure and/or excellent advertising and the need to show people you care.
Stage Two: Begrudging Acceptance
Period of Time: Dec 1st – 18th
After December 1st hits an ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ mentality takes over, and I try-to-try. I might crack out a Christmas jumper, I’ll stop moaning the odd Christmas song on the radio (three in a row I’m still likely to complain about), maybe even paint my nails red and green. I even start to appreciate Christmas lights and enjoy the odd Christmas drink special (mulled wine and Starbucks Toffee Nut, I’m looking at you). I’ll begrudgingly start planning who I’m going to get gifts for, and maybe even what I should get them. This year, I’ve already bought for my parents as it has to be shipped back to New Zealand – still not convinced it’ll make it in time though! During this period you might even see me give money to buskers playing Christmas songs instead of just shooting them a dirty look like I would’ve done in November.
Stage Three: Christmas Nutter
Period of Time: A week before Christmas
All that time spent hating it, and it’s won me over. I go insane. I spend twice my budget. I buy pretty shiny fairy lights and baubles. I’ll buy a whole turkey despite only spending Christmas with two friends. I’ll buy small gifts for people I hadn’t even intended to buy for. I’ll find more presents for people I’ve already bought for. Christmas playlists go on, I lose any scrap of sanity and regret all of it on the 31st when I can’t do anything for New Years because I’m too poor to leave the house.
For anyone in Stages One or Two (perhaps permanently), here’s a playlist of the top ten least-christmassy songs I can find, hopefully to distract you from the upcoming Christmas Spirit.
Number 10: MGMT – Kids
Number 9: Outcast – Hey Ya
Number 8: Van Morrison – Brown-Eyed Girl
Number 7: Mika – Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)
Number 6: Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
Number 5: Guns & Roses – Paradise City
Number 4: John Meyer – Who Says
Number 3: Jack Johnson – Upside Down
Number 2: The Who – I Can’t Explain
Number 1: Bob Marley & The Wailers – Stir It Up
And here’s all of them in a useful playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLatY-6QFHY-jc4_PwTb25Mq7sK9xhnUo5
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