The Christmas break is upon us at the CFJ and, as the song goes, it’s the "most wonderful time of the year"….right?

 

Well, sadly, for most of us the days of enjoying the festivities through the rose-tinted glasses of a small child are long gone; joyful anticipation has been replaced with utter panic as we rush to get everything done before the 25th. The burdens of adulthood weigh us down as we trudge between shops whilst struggling under the weight of our proverbial baggage. Excitement builds, comes and goes in the blink of an eye… 

 

I hate Christmas. 

 

The cliches, the social pressures, the commercialisation, the crippling expense. I find it almost ludicrous that people can enjoy this time of year. 

 

 


 

(I still can't figure out how to add a caption to an image) Is it that obvious that I didn't try with this wrapping? Sorry, mum

 

 

Yes, go on, call me The Grinch, I dare you. Scrooge? Sure, it’s not like I haven’t heard that one before. 

 

It feels like Christmas arrives earlier and earlier each year. Halloween is over? Let the festive foreplay commence. It’s almost a competition now: which retailer can deck their halls the quickest? Before you know it your eardrums are being repeatedly assaulted by Mariah Carey’s dulcet tones booming through, what feels like, every speaker across the UK. I feel personally attacked by my own car radio, I can’t seem to escape the so called ‘festive cheer’. 

 

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” has become the go to Instagram caption for every remotely Yuletide related post. From a mitten-clad hand holding mulled wine to scenes from a twinkly Christmas market, my skin crawls as I’m confronted with the phrase time and time again. Everybody shares. No one cares. Your Christmas trees all look the same. I find myself almost begging for the sweet release of an animal-related post, just something a little less offensively cheerful. 

 

As a barista myself, I can appreciate a good cup of coffee. I’m a complete sucker for latte art but, hey, only the best of us can achieve it. It all gets a bit much during the festive season, however, as I find myself insulted by the crude twists coffee shops try to put on my precious beverage. It’s bad enough constantly having my name misspelt, let alone the blazing red cups, “Crimble Crumble” and absurd combinations of sugary syrups. 

 

 

 


 

This is how coffee should be: pure, plain and simple. This is probably one of the best cups I've made 

 

 

Christmas is the time of year when travelling becomes a part of your lifestyle, particularly if your family live a distance away. Naturally, this seems like the most acceptable time for companies to disrupt travel as much as possible to make going shopping/attending social events/getting away from social events as difficult as possible. There’s nothing ‘smart’ about a smart motorway when my speed is being constantly limited to 50mph, it just prolongs the inevitable pain of the forced jollity of family gatherings. 

 

Full disclosure, I was absolutely dreading going home this Christmas. Every time I visit my family I feel a massive loss of independence as I cast myself into the isolation of the far-flung village which, to my utmost joy, my nearest and dearest chose to reside in. I’m a Kentish girl at heart; I grew up in a small village near Sevenoaks and went to school in Maidstone. There’s just something about living in the expanse of the Scottish countryside that gives me the biggest feeling of segregation from the rest of society. Plus they speak with funny accents. Perfect festive setting? I think not. 

 

“Surely it can’t be that bad?”, you must be thinking, right? Well, I can fully assure you, it is. With the big cities, and the some of the main attractions to Scotland, at least a two hour drive away and the most exciting thing to do over the weekend being going to ‘Big Tesco’ (a real treat, I must say, their toy selection is impeccable; very reminiscent of Toys ’R’ Us), I’ve become fully acquainted with boredom. I often find myself OUTSIDE in an attempt to combat the crippling lethargy that comes with having nothing to do.

 

 

 

 

So I don't lose my fingers to frostbite you'll often find me in bed with a good book. Yes, I love cats. Yes, I did have to get UniKitty in on this

 

 

What could be worse than all of this? Christmassy people. People who just LOVE the festive season. The type of under-developed adult who embraces the Christmas season in the most deranged manner. People who won’t hear a word against Christmas without asking where your ‘Christmas spirit’ is. You can’t pull an infantilising, itchy, woollen jumper over your problems forever, you know. The festivity that these people force upon the rest of us creates a special kind of hell; it’s like being hit repeatedly around the head with a glittery tinsel-infested mallet. 

 

So, please, spare a thought for those of us who find this time of year, and the insufferable preluding months, nothing short of a nightmare. Merry Christmas. 

 

 


The Grinch of the CFJ