‘Tis The Season

As the memory of Michaelmas fades and the festive season approaches, KATIE MAIR tells us why Christmas is just pure magic.

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Wizzard speak to me. For some people it’s that famous bit from Henry V. For others it’s a choice nugget of Obama. For me, though, it’s the introduction to Wizzard’s famous Christmas song that moves an otherwise cold and mirthless woman to a sense of profound jubilation.

You know – that moment after the bratty children have finished squawking, when the farty brass climbs the bass and Roy Wood fills his lungs with just enough studio air to announce ‘when the snowman brings the snow….’

That is your little brother offering to you his last Malteaser. That is Moses parting the Red Sea. That is Dumbledore giving Gryffindor just the right number of House Points to ensure a late victory over Slytherin.

That, Scrooges, is magic.

I am shamelessly enthusiastic about Christmas. I love tinsel, I love shit socks, I love yule log. I love tack and arts’n’crafts and anything that smells like cinnamon. I really like group singing and I definitely like sherry after Sid-over-the-road filled my wine glass with it on Christmas Day 2k10 and then complimented me on my jazzy new Christmas tights.

Yes, Wizzard, bloody yes – I do bloody wish it were bloody Christmas every day. And here is for why:

1. You get rewarded for knowing the date. Why cant my diary do this all year long? It could be just another day of A4 and cornflakes and headaches and coffee and reading and bike-related fiascos – that is, until the metaphorical WHAM when you realise it’s Thursday 18th October and you get to have a little chocolate in the shape of a cracker. How nice is that?

2. Having a walk in a paper hat is totally fine. Other things that are objectively harmless but without the Christmas excuse are interpreted as signs of lunacy: moving a decidedly outdoors item, such as a tree, into your living room; loving eggnog. Christmas is when quirky headgear and questionable taste combos get given their fair share of airtime – areas of eccentricity generally covered only by Will.I.Am at other times of the year. Let’s reclaim weirdness for the common man.

Speaking of quirky headwear…

3. Christmas is when people admit to liking uncool songs and uncool films and actively enjoying uncool telly. I wish this happened every day. You know what’s crap but also very lovely to listen to? MICHAEL BUBLE. Do you love Crossroads? Or 13 Going On 30? Or Monster-In-Law? Don’t be shy! It’s absolutely okay that you still watch Newsround, or Monarch Of The Glen, or DIY SOS – or all three! Shout it from the rooftops, and stick Shaggy on the stereo.

4. Christmas is when it is not creepy to be nice for the sake of niceness or sit children on your lap or politely request a snog from a stranger under the disclaimer that it will take place under some poisonous berries. Back in the day, smiling was an alright thing to do. If I remember correctly, this was actually okay even up until around 1998. It’s free, and mood-enhancing, and exercises your face, offering long-term flexibility. It’s basically free drugs.

5. This one is best of all. Christmas is when people bother to use pens and papers to write actual cards to be physically opened by human hands. College post is all pizza promotions, library whinges and bank statements stating the exceedingly obvious. Proper post, on the other hand, is ace, and we should use it all the time. In a world where X Factor is going to the dogs and bread is expensive, Christmas cards prove that some people will still risk paper-cutting their tongue for you, and a big chunk of the population is actually really quite decent.

Festive cheer

So yeah: Christmas. We would all be fat and poor and arrested if we partied like it was December 25th every day of the year – this is undeniable. But who says it’s wrong to grin at your bus driver on July 29th, or wrap your prunes in bacon as a cheeky August picnic, or wind the windows down on March 4th as you blast Joss Stone into the ears of passing pedestrians? Only a real Scrooge, that’s who.