Today is the 25th of December, and on this day each year many people around the world celebrate Christmas. The day they (religious people) tell us was the birth of Jesus Christ.
In modern times Hollywood movies tell us it’s the day of wonderful magical moments where people are kind, everyone is happy and we come together to exchange gifts and make everyone around us happy. They would have you believe that anything is possible. And that even the darkest of souls can achieve a sliver of goodness in this moment.
Children believe in Magic and Christmas
When we’re children, we believe everything we see in front of us. When the magician pulls a Rabbit from a hat, or cuts a lady in half – it’s absolutely real to them.
Many of us teach our kids that presents are brought to our children by a bearded fat man in a red suit who can fly across the entire globe in one night (on a sofa pulled by Reindeer no less), squeeze down your chimney, deliver some parcels, eat your cookies and leave – all completely undetected.
As an adult though, you should have figured out that magic doesn’t exist in any form.
It’s all about slight of hand, misdirection and trickery.
Movie moments will warm your heart
Adults teach kids that Christmas is full of magic elves and fat men. The movies try to teach people of all ages that the spirit of this moment will change bad to good and bring happiness to all.
Kevin gets left Home Alone but survives a burglary just before his entire family make it back just in time to celebrate together. Uncle Buck reconnects with his estranged family. Even mean old Ebenezer Scrooge sees the error of his ways thanks to four ghosts and buys his long-suffering employee a decent meal.
I think most of us hold some hope that, come the moment, good things happen. Maybe a long-lost love will call us up. Maybe we’ll patch things up with an old friend or family. And then there’s special moments like receiving a surprise gift. The movies told us it could happen, so sometimes we really want to believe.
Reality will paint a different picture
The sad fact is that when you’re an adult, the magic of Christmas disappears a little more with each passing year. Until you have children of your own, maybe.
If, like me, you’re single, then it just becomes any ordinary day. There is no magic.
Nobody calls up to see if you’re okay. Nobody comes round to chat. The little miracle moments the movies promise us, never actually happen. The reality of Christmas as an adult over 40 is, for want of a better word, crap.
I can tell you from my own experience that each one since my mid-20s has become ever more forgettable. The only thing that used to make it worth it at all was the fact that other family members seemed to enjoy it and want to hold on to the feeling.
But with age and their weakening attachment to the day, I’ve lost all interest in it too.
With a bit of luck there won’t be many left to make any effort over anyway. And this pointless performance we go through every winter will not be missed.