Posted in Of Bloggingly

Of Celebrations

Polar Bears! (Courtesy: Pixabay)

Holiday! Celebrate! – Madonna, “Holiday”

You know those random things you suddenly remember? For no apparent reason at all? Especially the kind of memory you’ve never remembered since it happened? As if I haven’t given you ample proof of my weirdness as a kid already (and an even weirder adult), I was ashamed of watching the anime version of Heidi as a kid. It was a programme on TV, on the weekends, and I would not admit to anyone at my school that I watched it. Why? Because it’s a very cute, endearing show, and I’ve never done cute. When everybody watched Teletubbies, and aspired to be Lala or whoever, I laughed at them. Hey Arnold was more my thing.

The point is, anything too happy just doesn’t settle well with me. I think “Barbie Girl” by Aqua is to be blamed for this. When the song came out and became a massive hit, back in the 90s when music lasted in the collective consciousness for more than a minute, I was of the age where every school function, kids’ party and whatever it is that kids are subjected to, little girls my age were made to dress up and dance and scream their heads off declaring to the world that yes, they are a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world, some lyrics about plastic we don’t need to worry about, you can brush my hair, some lyrics about undressing you don’t need to worry about, look at me impressing you with the words “imagination, life is your creation” and so on. I’d rather be absorbed into walls like I’d seen in horror films, than put on my fluffy frock and do all that.

In case you did not exist, or lived under a rock in the 90s….

You’d say, smart kid. Gold stars for both Hey Arnold and being suspicious of “Barbie Girl” even then. But, I was, or I am, Wednesday Addams wearing a summer frock. Morose, but not morose enough to be cool. And that is why I am awkward with holidays, and celebrations in general.

And I’m subjected to those all year. Seriously, if you want holidays year round, live in India. We celebrate everything. I don’t know if the statistic was from last year or the year before, but 33% of working days, sans summer and winter break, were holidays. That is, 1/3rd of your time at school or work, for which you pay or get paid, are days you’re off, potentially celebrating one thing or the other. What could be more wonderful than that?

As much as I love time off, holidays drive me crazy. Celebrations of any kind, but weddings are the worst. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been keen on mine. I don’t mind the marriage bit, but if I have sit starving and looking like a Christmas tree (oh yes, those great Indian weddings you keep hearing about that go on for days and have every excess imaginable? The bride is supposed to starve through them), you better watch out for the Bridezilla to Kill all you Bills off. As a guest, I keep to being an environmentalist and pointing out the cringe in each and everything.

Why are you killing the holiday spirit, Amrita? At least, you could be like some of us more fickle folks and stick to the materialism of Christmas? I associate Christmas as much with Home Alone and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, as I do with…they don’t too many Christmas movies promoting misery, do they?

I suppose I’m suspicious of happiness. I can’t always buy it as a true thing. I don’t go around discussing divorce statistics at weddings, but you know what I mean. Misery loves company, and I’ve always been miserable. I don’t know how to pose in photos with other happy people, how to help in the kitchen without conducting it as an army canteen. Thank God for pop music. If there wasn’t something as infectious as Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection album, I wouldn’t know how to survive among other happy people, give them the impression that I am one of them. Share in the illusion of the magic, the spirit of XYZ celebration, when we all know it’s not true.

Christmas Tree (Courtesy: Pixabay)

I want to be a believer, of course. I wanted to put on the fluffy frock and only commit to the innocent bits of “Barbie Girl”. I wanted to like “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. I want to be like every other reasonably happy person. I want to declare my love for the show Little Lulu twenty years later, especially now that I know little Lulu was voiced by the genius Tracey Ullman. When will I grow a heart?

Perhaps, I have a heart. Perhaps, it’s not Ebenezer Scrooge’s heart. Perhaps, it’s Robert Smith’s heart. Perhaps, I am a goth. I obviously do not have the musical skills, nor the pale skin, and I also find some of the gothiness a bit ridiculous. But, there’s a difference between having a dark, murky heart, and no heart at all. Perhaps, secretly I am full of heart. I just haven’t had reason to declare it yet. I’m certainly not declaring it in my hypothetical great Indian wedding.

And my dark, murky heart wishes you lots of love, cosiness, material as well as familial happiness this festive weekend. Have a good one.

How do you celebrate Christmas?


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

13 thoughts on “Of Celebrations

  1. I know how others feel, but I still love Christmas. I worked retail jobs for years, sold Christmas trees, made wreaths…all of it along with dealing with short tempered people all season long. I guess I am always able to separate the positive vibes this time of year from all the negative stuff. My sisters, their husbands and my niece still get together a week or so before Christmas to decorate my parents tree and exchange gifts. We all live close to one another but we all like to do our own things. So that is one tradition. My wife and I like to be alone on Christmas day. We get up early and exchange gifts, helped by coffee! Then she cooks a particular breakfast dish we only have on Christmas. The days just before tend to be festive as well, so we like to do some local food shopping as in actually going to a butcher, or a baker for our treats. Lots of Christmas music and Christmas movies (I’ve watched A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation 7,345 times this year alone! We also dim the lights and sit by our tree one night listening to Dylan Thomas recite A Child’s’ Christmas In Wales. Those are our typical traditions.

    1. Those are such lovely traditions! I definitely want to check out that Dylan Thomas recording! What is the breakfast dish? Wreath-making skills is a great talent to have😃

      1. Wreath making and wrapping bunches of boughs left my hands with a permanent layer of sap that didn’t go away until February! The breakfast dish is a puffy pancake served with peach slices and cream. Unlike the traditional pancakes or ‘flapjacks’ that are normally cooked on a skillet, these are baked. And no need to read this, but here’s a link to something that contains the Dylan Thomas recording. It is really such an enjoyable listen-

      2. That was a beautiful post!😀
        I’ll definitely listen to the story. I’ve never heard his voice before, but I really used to love his poetry. My favourite Christmas story is A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.

      3. Thank you! Oh you are in for a treat. Its probably not the voice you might expect! I actually don’t know that one from Capote. I’ll try to check it out.

  2. With my family we did all sorts of things special to each holiday. Here, with mum, I exist to make her happy. Except, I’m not making cookies, even if she wants me to! They are bad for the both of us and I refuse to add to her bad glucose readings!

    1. Ha ha! I’m resisting cake too (though I had an entire fruitcake earlier this month, but I’m not counting it despite its Christmassy packaging!) and a bit of denial can still be in the spirit of Christmas! The point is to feel like your heart is made of cookies and cream and there are other ways to feel that besides eating!
      Happy Christmas, Kris!🎅💕😊

    1. Robert Smith has made me incandescently happy this year.😀

      My motto this winter has been “All you wanna do is nothing” from “Gone!” I only regret all the years I kept wondering what I should listen to after Disintegration and 4:13 Dream. I should have stopped being an idiot and listened to them ALL.

  3. Hello dear Amrita! It’s Elka, and I am trying to heal my problems around certain celebrations and holidays, so I can relate. I generally enjoy weddings, though, and this year I actually had a great birthday. But I’m not quite ready, or willing to embrace Christmas. It mostly makes me sad, for way too many reasons. I see the purpose in holidays, but they generate way too much obligation and loneliness in so many cases. Someday I do hope to really enjoy Christmas again, though, if no one tries to make me go to church :).

    1. Ha ha, you can comfort yourself with the thought that they do get crowded this time of the year! I’d say, see if you can get out of it and do something you enjoy instead. Most things are family obligations for me, but I try and see how I can best optimize the situation. If I don’t get to participate and feel lonely, I watch a film or call up a friend and try not to think about it. If I’m stuck in something I won’t enjoy, I try to find people I’d like talking to, or I head for the food section asap!

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