So what’s wrong with Christmas, now?

So I was standing in Tesco’s the other day, attempting to buy the last of my Christmas presents and found myself in a very long queue standing behind a family of four. The mum, dad and their two teenage kids were doing what looked like, all of their Christmas shopping for the whole holiday period. As they waited to pay for the contents of their mountainous trolley, they sent the kids out as gofers for more and more stuff! Behind me there was a quiet young couple who were celebrating their first Christmas together. I could tell because their basket only contained a bottle of wine, a packet of Ferrero Rocher, mince pies, a bumper pack of flavoured condoms and a pair of fluffy handcuffs, (available in Aisle 13 next to the furry dice!). I envied them being at that beginning stage of the relationship where everything was still innocent and exciting. They were looking forward, like everybody else in the shop, to a memorable Christmas. And even though Tesco’s was packed as hell and people were bumping into me from in front and behind, and even though it took me another hour to pay for my shopping and navigate my way back home through the busy shopping traffic, I didn’t mind.

I didn’t mind at all.

You see for me, Christmas is more than just about family, more than just dinner, more than just last minute Christmas shopping, more than just mince pies and brandy, more than paying too much to find a rave or waking up hung over and embarrassed from the Christmas party, it is more than maxing out your credit card and forgetting to make the gravy. Christmas is the one time of the year when I have goodwill towards everyone, including those that cut in front of me in the queue or cut me off on the roads, and even those who didn’t have their method of payment ready when they finally got to the tills!

This is what Christmas is, like it or love it.

In the news this week was a story about how Father Christmas was a bad role model for children. The article stated Santa had to go because he was overweight (in fact clinically obese), an alcoholic, (with a penchant for brandy or any other spirited substance), and only worked one day a year. He was described as putting out the wrong image with his dated and tired format and therefore had to go, in favour of a new noughties politically correct Santa Claus. Wow! Santa was becoming like the pre industrial revolution hand loom weavers, a makeover, they reckoned, was long overdue.

So what should the new Santa look like? Who or what would be a good role model? A middle aged, lean, svelte, physically fit Santa who would rather pull his sleigh using his mountain bike and who could bench press 300 pounds? A more pleasing-to-the-eye Santa who works everyday of the year and who asks the children to leave protein shakes and cereal bars on Christmas Eve instead?

Personally, I think it would be great if we had a black Santa. We could call him…..Black Santa, and he could have long white dreadlocks and wear a red and white tracksuit over his well toned beach buffed body. The traditional christmas carols could change to reggae-fied classics and the sleigh could be pimped out by Xzibit for an MTV special!

Or we could just leave him the fuck alone!

Although originally a figment of a Coca Cola marketer’s vivid imagination, Santa Claus is a figure that we know and love and is known across the whole planet, (Funnily enough he is not the most recognisable face in the world, this honour goes to Ronald McDonald!). This is the Santa that we expect to get stuck in the chimney every now and then and to eat all the mince pies we leave out for him. We know him and trust him and he is the anchor that makes Christmas magical.

I am making a big noise about this now because this is the kind of thing that goes by unnoticed, and leads to the pc brigade inventing a more socially acceptable Christmas mascot. I love Christmas and want things to stay exactly as they are being promoted by an elderly white guy, with a barrel belly, a huge beard, red cheeks and a matching red and white suit, call me sentimental.

Then again, all this debate and the guy doesn’t even really exist.

What do you think?

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