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Home > Culture and Society

The TFT Guide to... Christmas Myths and Christmas Reality

24 December 2005

Christmas is a stressful time for many people, and can even be deeply depressing for some. This surely has something to do with the gulf between our ideal Christmas and our actual Christmas, so TFT takes a look at the myths and reality of Christmas...


1) MYTH: Christmas is a time to eat, drink and be merry. REALITY: Christmas is a gruelling ordeal consisting of sanity-threatening hangovers, exhausting, joyless shopping trips and eating for the sake of it until your entire digestive system is filled with meat, grease and chocolate in various states of digestion. That and attempts to make travel arrangements that become so complicated and stressful they make 'The Great Escape' look like popping out for a pint of milk.

2) MYTH: Everyone has a fantastic time at the company Christmas party. REALITY: The only people to have a fantastic time are sales twats and those middle-aged office staff who don't get out much. There is probably a mass-catering Christmas lunch consisting of grey turkey, tepid potatoes and cold carrots. The entertainment is a DJ playing DJ Otzi, Jive Bunny and hits from 'Grease', at which point all the Kevs invade the dance floor and start making disco moves in a desperate mating dance aimed at the chavs-with-jobs secretaries they've been unsuccessfully trying to pull all year. The natural reaction of any normal person to this carnival of enforced fun is to get very drunk. This is traditionally followed by mortifying memory loss, through which you dimly recall an altercation with a colleague, usually your boss, and sickening paranoia that you're going to get sacked.

3) MYTH: While returning home to see your parents, you take the opportunity to catch up with old school friends with a trip to the local pub you used to frequent in your youth, and have a fantastic time reminiscing about your school/sixth-form days. REALITY: All your old friends have moved away. Your trip to your local pub is an agonising embarrassment-fest, as you discover there is no-one you know, except a bloke in the corner who used to bully you at school but who no longer recognises you. The rest of Christmas is spent sitting in front of the TV with your parents, the only conversation consisting of 'Do you want another cup of tea?'

4) MYTH: You will receive a wonderful selection of presents. REALITY: With presents, as with life, very few people ever get what they really want. That's why you invariably end up with gifts that are at best a token gesture and at worst completely unwanted, e.g. scented candles, an upmarket corkscrew, a Jamie Oliver cookbook, a scarf even though you never wear scarves, etc. Occasionally someone will make a genuine attempt to get you something you want, but invariably they will get it wrong, e.g. 'I know you've got a sense of humour, so I got you The Little Book of Farts!' But this is all irrelevant: no present will ever recapture the greatest moment of your entire life - when you opened your presents as a child and found an Action Man Scorpion tank.

5) MYTH: All the best TV is on at Christmas. REALITY: This year's Christmas telly includes: 'French and Saunders Have Another Nauseating Love-In With Their Celebrity Mates'; six hours of 'EastEnders', cynically designed to win the ratings battle with a ludicrously sensational and deeply distasteful storyline, e.g. Kat gets gang-raped and murdered under the Christmas tree while Alfie pops out for some tinsel; a chance to see the 'fork handles' sketch for the 200th time on 'Requiem for a Ronnie'.

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