If you have been conscious recently you will in no doubt realise that Christmas is coming.
Like going to the gym, it is an annual event full of financial repercussions and heavy sweating.
I'm a fan of Christmas, spending time with family and getting people gifts. I eagerly scour the TV listings to find out when Muppet's Christmas Carol is on and rejoice when the first Santa-starring Coca Cola advert appears.
Note: Father Christmas' outfit was originally blue with the word "MAX" em-blazed on it. It was changed in 1886, around the time Coca-Cola was first introduced, something to look into Pepsi.
One thing I don't do is celebrate the life and teachings of Christ in a mass.
I am not the religious type. Yes, I was taken to church as a child, but I was always faking it - never fully enjoying my Eucharist, miming my hymns and defying several commandments (the boring ones).
On discovering other free-time activities such as sports and dating in my teens, I began to spend more and more time watching cooler kids enjoy both activities while I sat in my room, reorganising my Pokémon card collection and practicing Barry Manilow songs on my recorder.
A religious friend of mine pointed out recently that celebrating Christmas without recognising its religious significance is totally not cool, and they are right.
According to Wikipedia, less people celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday than those who celebrate it as an excuse to drink heavily in their newly received novelty bathrobe.
If that statistic is true (which it probably isn't; Wikipedia also claims that Bob Dylan is a form of wild cabbage) then us heathens should really stop taking the lords name in vein and create a new moniker.
Businesses have tried creating a new term for Christmas, but each suggestion sounds more empty-shirted than the last.
The usual suspects are "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings". Both these terms can be used at any time of the year, people take holidays all year round and there are literally FOUR seasons to greet.
As Milton Jones has mentioned on this site, maybe we should simply remove the 'Christ' from Christmas.
We often find ourselves using Xmas, a kind of way of saying Christmas without the biblely bit, but 'X' in maths mean 'the unknown', which means essentially we're back in mass again but for no particular reason. What we need is a term that sums up the standard Christmas experience.
Now the Christmas experience covers a myriad of areas, but I think there are three main ones.
Food: Turkey, cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets, stuffing, eggnog etc. All of these things can be enjoyed separately at any time of year, but when these foods are joined by paper hats and the faint smell of gun powder from a recently pulled cracker, they combine for that quintessential Christmas feeling.
Relaxing: Christmas day is a day when it feels like the country is in default mode. Sure, people work on Christmas day, but the general feeling is that when you go outside to try out your new bike/skateboard/segway the streets would be silent, with only the faint sound of the local children playing with their new remote-control car for the first and only time.
Entertainment: Only Fools and Horses and The Royle Family have been perennial staples of the Christmas day evening.
Now with Blu Ray, 3D and X-ray television, there are even more options for the family to get together and enjoy. The parents sit with their kids, laughing together watching the latest DVD from that popular northern stand-up and wince together when he gets to his racier material, the little ones watch the latest Pixar film about a mop who wants to be president and the teenagers watch their box set of The Moody Vampire Journals.
What we need is a term to sum up these parts. So everybody have a lovely Chilling-Scoff Day? No wait, that's rubbish. How about Happy Slobbington! Hmm...Couching Munch Time?
This is harder than I thought.
What I think is the best cause of action is we all just call it Christmas and respect everybody's interpretation of that term.
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