Seasons Greetings my lovely blog readers!
I had been intending to write a Merry Christmas post at some point over the last week but life got in the way, as it usually does. Then on Boxing Day on Twitter I spotted something that I just couldn’t not blog about, no matter how much deep breathing I tried. So here it comes:
Over the festive period there has been a hashtag trending: #ChristmasRuined Makes sense I guess. And I for one am always glad when folk are willing to share their low points on social media as well as their highs.
Now I don’t know what I was expecting to see that might have ruined all these poor souls’ christmases but suffice to say, I wasn’t anticipating that the vast majority of them would be complaining that they hadn’t been able to play with their new Playstation yet…
No really. Apparently that’s all it takes these days, to wreck an otherwise perfectly good christmas. You can have a loving family, a comfortable home, a belly full of culinary delights and a brand new £300 console, but if you can’t play on it THIS INSTANT RIGHT NOW then what’s the point in any of it…yes?…Well, no, actually.
I’m going to be deliberately outrageous here, and suggest that the word “ruined” which conjures an image of something destroyed beyond repair is not the ideal choice for someone experiencing mild-to-moderate feelings of disappointment and annoyance. And if you’re experiencing anything above mild-to-moderate feelings in relation to your inability to play with your new present AT THIS VERY MOMENT then perhaps your overall emotional IQ is the thing that is ruined, rather than christmas itself.
I wondered if perhaps I was being a bit harsh in my attitude so tried to think of some situations in which I would consider the use of a #ChristmasRuined hashtag more appropriate…
Maybe, if you’re celebrating your first christmas since losing a loved one and the festivities are overshadowed by your grief (2009, 2014)
Or if you’ve just miscarried twins the week before christmas (2010)
Maybe you just got out of hospital after receiving a life-changing diagnosis and will be spending christmas and new year on an extraordinarily high dose of medication that has terrible physical and mental side-effects (2013)
Has not one, but two members of your family just been diagnosed with cancer and are you spending a significant proportion of the festive season visiting a hospice? (also 2013)
Perhaps your partner is unemployed, and with no prospects on the horizon you find yourselves sinking further into debt (2008)
Maybe you’re a kid whose parents have just separated and you’re only going to be spending christmas with one of your parents this year for the first time (1994)
Or are you a teenager estranged from your family and technically homeless, about to enter the care system? (2000)
Incase you didn’t guess from the years in brackets, these are all christmases I have actually personally experienced.
Guess how many of them I would tag as #ChristmasRuined?
Know why? Because christmas is not flan, it is not something that can be ruined, or at least- it would take a lot, for me, to consider the entire concept of christmas entirely wrecked. The kinds of things I would possibly concede as #ChristmasRuined are the kinds of things you don’t even want to think, let alone type, for fear of them being realised. But to be clear, I’m talking some whole house burned down shit.
In the interests of transparency, I write this as an atheist, so don’t think my “YOU CAN’T RUIN THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS” thing comes from a religious or spiritual perspective. It’s just that christmas, to me anyway, is not a THING, and therefore it’s pretty damn robust. So the turkey isn’t defrosted in time? But I bet you have a whole host of other shit in your house to eat…right? Maybe that special present didn’t arrive in time? But I bet the recipient will have other cards and gifts to open, or if not, that they’ll be excited to know something is on it’s way?
Even those christmases I listed above, were not RUINED. They may have been different, difficult, emotional but on christmas day, just like any other day, I am a human-being capable of feeling the full range of human emotion, so sadness can be mixed in with gladness. You can feel upset about the crappiness of your current situation and worry about your loved ones, whilst also feeling hope for the future and thankful for the present time you have with your family.
I mean, I’m not trying to be irritatingly chirpy here, but for the love of god people, how comfortable can your life be if the very worst thing imaginable for you is the Playstation Network being down?
People were actually tweeting that they wanted compensation. Compensation! The gift isn’t actually broken, there isn’t anything wrong with it! But something failed to meet their (ridiculously fucking high, entirely egocentric) expectations on one singular occasion, so SOMEONE SHOULD PAY.
Another person posted on Facebook that “Christmas was ruined” because a Play Doh toy they bought for their child is slightly phallic.
I say slightly phallic, because if you squint, and apply your adult brain and a coat of flesh coloured paint to it, it would sort-of, almost looks like a penis. Kinda.
Again, just to be entirely clear here, their ENTIRE CHRISTMAS WAS RUINED BY THIS PLASTIC TOY PART THAT LOOKS A BIT LIKE A DICK.
How, and I mean how is that even possible?! On any level?! Like how delicate a balance does your life hang in, on a day-to-day basis, if YOUR ENTIRE GODDAM CHRISTMAS can be wrecked by that?!
I’m thinking these people not only have the lowest boiling point for OUTRAGE I have ever known, but are also wayyyyy coddled, that this is the worst shit the universe has ever thrown at them during the month of December.
Look I hate to do this to you, my poor mistreated friends of the world, but right now there are really terrible things happening…and I mean, even worse than unwrapping a toy that looks like a tiny dildo. I mean, people are sick, and injured, and yes even dying. People are homeless, families are falling apart, children are starving, animals are being abused and this all continues to happen on christmas day. Even as you unwrap your PS4 and beat your fists against the wall in floods of tears because the PSN is down, as you declare your christmas “ruined”, someone is taking their last breath on this earth, or giving birth to a baby who will never take a first breath, or learning that this christmas may be their last, or finding a way to tell their children that there won’t be any presents because there isn’t any money for food. So please, and I say this from the bottom of my heart, take your ChristmasRuined hashtag and shove it up your actual arse…along with that bloody Play Doh accessory.