COLUMN: Rosemary Westwell asks ‘are we really in the Christmas spirit this year?’

COLUMN: Rosemary Westwell asks ‘are we really in the Christmas spirit this year?’

COLUMN: Rosemary Westwell asks ‘are we really in the Christmas spirit this year?’ - Credit: Archant

So Christmas is coming. ‘Bah humbug!’ It’s not that I do not enjoy the Christmas holiday with those who revel in the spirit of celebration and joy; I just wonder how many of us are really in the spirit?

How often have you been cut off by dangerous drivers trying to beat the rush to the shops, found a car parked behind you preventing you from getting out, pushed off balance in the crowds of people focused on their own world of Christmas business or snarled at by stressed shoppers or shopkeepers?

And all for what, I ask? To have to travel miles in weather that is not easy to drive in, to spend a morning opening presents, half of which you don’t want, the other half a feeling of exhaustion as you think of all the thank you letters you have to write, slaving over the stove cooking a ‘special dinner’ for an ungrateful family, eating too much – ruining the success of you months of dieting previously - and then having to put up with the family squabbles as they get worse and worse until someone leaves early, and swears they will never come back again?

Also, normal people who refuse to caught up with the false Christmas-hype find it is impossible to live normally. No one wants to work over the Christmas period.

Once upon a time, Christmas was just a DAY: Christmas Day, the 25th December. Now it seems to stretch over four weeks until the New Year.

Those who are supposed to provide a service, such as the recycling people, bend themselves over backwards messing up with the timetable to avoid anyone doing anything.

By the time they have finished, nobody knows where they are. If they thought about it, only a few need to work Christmas Day and a sizeable pay surely would be encouragement enough.

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Then, have you ever tried to get a plumber or an electrician over the Christmas period? Some of them find it difficult to turn up at all, even when they say they will, but over Christmas – FORGET it!

Then, of course, you are hardly permitted to be ill, or in hospital over the Christmas period – medical staff all need to have a rest from their very highly paid jobs and you must fit in with their needs.

Of course, there are people who HAVE to work such as intensive care nurses and they seem to manage to see their family.

It is time we recognized that Christmas and Boxing Days are just that TWO DAYS, not four weeks! Some thought needs to be given to carers and parents of young children – there are no four weeks’ reprieve for them!