It’s CHRISTMAS (And You’d Better Like It Or Else)
Whereas this time last year I was high on Christmas, this year I haven’t been feeling Christmassy at all. In fact, I know just how Scrooge of A Christmas Carol feels.
I’ve either been Bah! Humbug-ing all over the place, or making plaintive requests to people to sing me that old, 80s Band Aid song in aid of famine-stricken Somalia, Do They Know It’s Christmas, because I don’t know about the people in famine-stricken Somalia in the 80s, but I can tell you that I don’t know it’s Christmas in 2011. It just doesn’t feel like it.
Maybe it’s because it’s been so HOT. (We in Bombay get no winter till such of you who are in Delhi get winter, and since such of you who are in Delhi have only just got winter, we’re a little behind-hand in diving into our cupboards in search of tops that have sleeves.) Or maybe it’s because I haven’t seen enough Christmas lights and decorations around me this time and the carol singers seem to have given my building a miss. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been in a tetchy mood for the last year and can see NOTHING festive in anything any more and there’s nothing I want to do more than ANYthing than stay at home and read.
Whatever it is, the spirit of Christmas has definitely passed me by this year, and as an almost natural corollary since January 1 is not so far away, I’m stating loud and clear that I can’t, I cannot, I simply can NOT bear the idea of another year. It should all just stop at midnight on December 31, or at any rate, I should stop.
And that’s how I’ve been feeling this whole year, even now not so far from Christmas, when HR happened.
Suddenly, we have a Christmas tree in reception, with streamers, ornaments and fake presents around it.
Suddenly, Christmas carols are being piped into the office, first causing tetchy people like me to leap off their chairs to bellow, ‘For god’s sake, whoever that phone belongs, PICK THE BLEEPING THING UP’ and then, upon realisation that this is not an annoying ringtone, causing tetchy people like me to hunch over the keyboard and mutter darkly about distraction and how no work can be done, and finally causing even tetchy people like me to hum a snatch of Christmas carol here and there.
And then even more suddenly, a small man in a Santa suit (with flashing neon disco sunglasses because this is Bombay) is pottering around the office, shaking hands with everyone and distributing chocolate eclairs.
What can you do but smile?
And what can you say but HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
Whether you like it or not.