There are plenty of usually normal and well-adjusted people who go bonkers at Christmas time. I refer to the condition as Obsessive Christmas Disorder, and it seems that it’s a conditions that affects people in increasing numbers with every passing year.
For these people, their giddy excitement about all things Christmas probably started in early September. They see nothing wrong in listening to Fairytale of New York 3,000 times in a two-month period. And they take the art of Christmas decorations to a ludicrous level. Garish lights and neon Santas overwhelm countless abodes and the indoor decorations are often just as over the top, with poinsettias positioned in every nook and cranny, bowls of candy canes laid out on every surface, even though I’ve never met anyone who actually enjoys these the sticky peppermint treats, and tiny candles dotted liberally, as if house fires weren’t a thing. And, of course, the mouldy old nativity scene salvaged from some dusty box in the attic and given pride of place in the living room.
Where I live, in California, people don’t even have the decency to keep their Christmas lunacy to within the bounds of their own properties. Each December, the Yuletide-obsessed invariably drive down the street on a fire engine with one of their ‘hilarious’ mates dressed as Father Christmas hanging off the back, blasting out Santa Claus is Coming to Town as they go. Not even my two-year-old, who should be delighted at the thought of being woken by Father Christmas, enjoys this December ritual.
I’ve been spending years trying to devise a plan to avoid all of this Christmas madness, but as members of my own family suffer from Obsessional Christmas Disorder, I’ve slowly come to realise that there is only one way of dealing with this dreadful time of year. Sadly, surrender is the only option. The way to cope with all of this merriment is to simply indulge the Christmas cheer that surrounds us. My inner Scrooge will hate me forever for saying it, but it’s true.
So when December 25 arrives, singalong to that Christmas song you really hate, take an extra slice of dry tukey and try as best you can to be gracious in accepting your re-gifted toaster. Pretty soon Christmas will all be over – well, until next year, that is.