The TYC Advent Calendar: December 11th

“Yes, I know Christmas is just a couple of weeks away… But it just doesn’t feel Christmassy yet.”

Sound irritatingly familiar?

If you’re feeling decidedly un-Christmassy, Chloe Murphy has written this piece all about Christmas cheer, and where you can find it. It’s closer than you might think (but not down the back of the sofa. We already checked.)

How To Find Christmas Cheer

Elf makes most things better...
Elf makes most things better…

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment in your life when Christmas begins to lose its sparkle. Some people are lucky enough to carry the Yuletide spirit with them all year round, or at least leap to channel it as soon as the cinders of Bonfire Night are swept into the winds of winter.

I remain convinced that these people keep the world whirling around because there’s nothing like slumping down a grey street in a grey town in the latter half of November and having your eyes readily assaulted by cocoons of lights strung across lampposts, ready to be lit by a D-list local celebrity in a haze of badly trumpeted Christmas carols. If you can’t smile at the irony of it all, and the prospect of glittering golds and silvers scattered through the dusky night air, then you most certainly have to be heartless.

I don’t think that the onslaught of adulthood is the catalyst of dampening a Christmas spirit. The realisation that your parents aren’t simply wrapping your birthday presents in mid-December – and that the ‘magically’ empty plate of mince pie crumbs is actually a symbol of your father’s festive gluttony – is a tough one to accept, but for every INTENSE BETRAYAL, there remains to be the promise of presents, the smell of gingerbread (or burning) and the prospect of getting steadily more intoxicated the older you become. And there are few things that soothe haphazard holidays more than the promise of a bottle of wine in the evening; y’know, after the Fire Brigade have gone…

But anyway, back to Christmas spirit: how do you find it? Where do you find it? As I reach my twenties, I find that I can’t really get excited about Christmas until around the 20th of December because it stops being a promise and starts becoming an actuality. It usually takes me 15 days to accept we’re even in the last month of the year, so the 20th is the time when I start watching Elf and crying over the finale of The Office and swearing at my laptop screen as I realise that there is no way on earth that Amazon is going to deliver any presents in time for me to wrap and forward them. Maybe this is because of realism: some people see the glass half-full and are organised enough to plan happiness into their yearly schedule. Some people may see the glass half-empty, but some people will focus more on the fact that the glass could potentially smash before any liquid finds its way inside of it.  And those can be called ‘realists.’

Roses? It MUST be Christmas...
Roses? It MUST be Christmas…

But what we realists should realise is that Christmas is the one definitive light on the horizon; no matter how far off-course the year trundles in between festivities, the 25th of December will always be a day reserved for family arguments, cracker hats and delving into the Roses tin while watching terrible telly. Maybe the spirit of things lies in simply giving up all worries of anything around the holiday season and just feeling glad it exists. Giving up all pretensions of cool, unaffected composure and reveling in its chintziness; being forced to wear reindeer antlers at work is potentially quite horrifying but wearing them on the weekends should be encouraged and revered.

Perhaps the only sure-fire way to unlock Christmas cheer for every person ever is through the use of sleighbells or moderate piano; anyone who hears the likes of ‘It was Christmas Eve, babe…’ or ‘Are you hanging up your stocking on the wall?’ has to feel the corners of their mouth start to curl; and before long, they’ll most definitely be wrapping everything in tinsel. With all the worries, anxiety and disinterest over everything Yule, it’s definitely not uncool to force yourself into equalling the excitement of your five-year-old self running on sugar to ensure you capture the spirit of everything.



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