Thursday, November 15, 2012

Don’t let me spoil your Christmas

I know I’m not alone in thinking this, but because I’m an arsehole, I’ll be the one to say it instead of grabbing a rivet-gun and a fixed grin and setting one to my face with the other (“Why so serious?”).

From last month until sometime in January, this country will start demanding that I make Christmas lists, plan Christmas menus, book Christmas holiday destinations, and buy more stuff.

Of course, the last three words, “buy more stuff” are the point. Anyone saying I'm a spoiler will do so on the basis of my spend, my product recommendations (none), or my attitude to parties.

So on behalf of all the people too polite to say it, I implore anyone who reads:

Think of those for whom the Christmas present will be a loved one who lives long enough after Christmas (and maybe, if fate decrees, past New Year) so that the twinned holiday is not spoiled for those that bury them.

Think of those who fear that their cancer might not give them Christmas lunch with the family, because they were in ICU after some emergency or other. On that score, think of those whose Christmas will be devoted to keeping someone alive on behalf of their family…

Think of those whose resources are exhausted by care: lucky to live in Australia, where chronic disease doesn’t turn into six-figure debt, care is still expensive. So think of those that won’t have “present money” left in the family budget, because they know the awful blow of January 1 (when they have to pay full-rate for prescriptions) is just around the corner.

Think of those that fall outside: who lack the disease or circumstances to come to the attention of a “famous” charity. For whom there are no pink ribbons or Movembers, neither Christmas soup kitchens nor wish-trees, the ones the bikies don’t ride for to cleanse their image of a year of gunplay and meth labs, who won’t get attention from attention-seeking shits called “celebrities” who arrive with cameras but no help.

Think of those whose Christmas will be one of apologies and comb-overs, patch-ups and promises, whose children knew stoicism before they knew Santa Clause.

Think of those for whom December 25 means work, because unlike you they’re not in the “knowledge sector”, don’t get six-figure salaries, and can’t eat on New Year if they don’t work on Christmas.

It won’t spoil your Christmas to think of them now. If you keep it until December, you may suffer a pang amid the wrapping paper. And we wouldn't want that, would we?

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