Yes, I had a lovely Christmas thanks. Yes, I know it seems like such a long time ago and we’re now all brought low by endless rain and media nonsense about the January Blues. I didn’t think I’d have to write this post: we’ve passed the point where people still feel obliged to wish each other a happy New Year and we’re all no doubt excited about the imminent arrival of another glorious February.
It’s a cliche, but January’s meant to be a time for fresh starts (if I had a pound for every New Year, New You article….), so why is Christmas STILL HERE?
I have a near pathological hatred of post-Christmas Christmassity. Whether it’s the shelves full of hundreds of unbought Christmas gifts in the January sales; sad unlit Santas still clinging grimly to the fronts of houses, or the tragic remains of civic christmas lights, left to fend for themselves till about April (budget cuts, you know). I don’t believe in the January Blues. Yes, it’s tough going back to work on January 2 or whenever, but after that, it’s pretty much as-you-were. If they do exist, for me, they’re brought on by two things – both of which we could all banish with just a little more effort.
The first, and I know you’ll all have seen it recently, is a shred of Christmas decoration in a high corner of a room. A tiny tuft of tinsel, held on with Sellotape, a shred of broken paper chain. We put our decorations up so carefully and with so much love, then we just yank them down because they bring us down.
The second is brown Christmas trees, prostrate on the pavement, dumped by the bins or huddled together on waste ground. They break my heart. These fine specimens, once carried shoulder-high into the house like FA Cup-winning goalscorers, now find themselves out in the cold. Literally. They’re the embodiment of our disposable society and anti-climactic disappointment. There are three on my street.
All I ask is that we put Christmas away with the same care and attention with which we get it out. We don’t need tinsel now: the days are getting longer, the weather will get kinder, the spring will come. It will.