Buying a present for somebody is trouble. Of course we all know this, but we don’t admit it. It’s better to give than to receive, they say. But at Christmas you are doing both and that’s got to be a recipe for disaster.
So where does this all come from? It would seem to be something to do with those supposedly wise men. I mean surely a rattle would have been a better present than what they bought? History doesn’t record what Jesus returned their favour with, but my guess is that it was more at the peace and enlightenment to all men end of the spectrum and I happen to know that the guy who bought the gold was hoping for a hifi. Shouldn’t have given gold to an infant then should you?
But therein lies the problem. You don’t know what scale the other person is working to until it is too late. Sorry, if I had known you were buying me a 1:1 size aircraft carrier with both dry and wet dock, I wouldn’t have simply bought you a bottle of Netto’s own wine wrapped in an already half-composted plastic bag.
It’s a nightmare. But the solution of withdrawing from the entire sorry affair marks you out as a complete weirdo. I personally think it’s quite a reasonable strategy, but I’m sure when you tell people you don’t celebrate Christmas, they look at you like you have two heads. And then try and explain why you shouldn’t have two heads and end up shaking their own heads at the impossibility of it all.
Come on Jedi. We invented you for this very reason. It’s your destiny. We can say, “sorry I don’t celebrate Christmas because of my religion”. And people will shut up.
Despite all of this, I am a soft touch. I know at some point on Christmas morning I will look across the vista before me, and a small tear will come to my eye. Probably as I’m trying to defrost the turkey with a hammer and my hand slips.