Christmas is the time of giving in our household and watching my daughters wrap themselves in all the peripherals of the occasion is beautiful. A diligent following of the advent calendar that sees them perform good deeds each day, their purchase of presents with their own finances and the fastidious decoration of the family home, reflect a true appreciation of the reason for the season.
Whilst I’m hoping for a replacement whipper-snipper and a much desired Bruce Springsteen box set, sharing oneself through presents and kind gestures is the truth behind Christmas in Australia.
In fact, Christmas has given me much over the years; love, friendship, perspective and this year it has given me something new. The shits.
Throughout the course of the week leading up to the celebration of the birth of Christ, watching my fellow humans hustle and bustle their way through life at the expense of any respect shown towards other members of our species, has done my head in.
To the rude blonde who cut in line at the BBQ chicken shop at Stockland Mall Baulkham Hills, I say thank you and I hope bauble glitter ruins your frock on Christmas Day.
To the Optus representative who gave me less than twenty four hours’ notice for some major infrastructure work required at my place, it was much appreciated and you can stick your telco where the yuletide spirit doesn’t shine.
A special thanks to the young, pony-tailed ‘P’ plater who felt the need to speed up a ramp at Castle Towers shopping centre and scare the living heck out of my entire family as we returned to our vehicle.
Well done, it was just what we needed after seeing the new Star Wars film. May your paper Christmas hat tear and a nearby bonbon explosion scare the crap out of you.
The most mystifying of all these encounters was the young woman in JB Hi-fi who refused to accept the return of a still wrapped CD I had purchased for a now deceased relative.
She asked me the reason for the return and I replied, “because he is dead’. To which she responded, and I kid you not, “don’t do it again”.
Strangely she took the return, funny how the rules change. One can only hope she gets caught under the mistletoe with an unhygienic drunken neighbour who latches on for dear life.
Rather than addressing countless individual road incidents, born of the last minute shopping frenzy, the general insanity of people ploughing in and out of carparks at breakneck speed has been absurd and frankly, dangerous.
Despite the sensible cries of many friends online pleading for people to slow down, the buffoonery of ant-like humanity has created a hot-bed of speed, pressure and rudeness that sadly, some seem to enjoy.
Thankfully, I have had the pleasure of some great moments as well; with people a little more interested in Mrs Claus than Mimco, Jesus rather than Jag and Santa more than Swarovski.
To those people, like the friendly dad in the fish shop as we ordered prawns together and the lovely old chap who walked fifty metres, cane in hand, to ensure that I was aware that a break light had blown on my Camry, I say thank you.
And to everyone else reading this and feeling the pain and the frustration of the corporate and narcissistic version of Christmas that we sometimes see, I wish you and your kin all the best for the days ahead and the New Year.
Maybe next year we could all try to encourage people to be a little more like us. Remember that word? Us. Not ‘me’, us.