OPINION: Just cool it with all the Christmas cheer already
I HOPE you'll believe me when I tell you I take no pleasure in being The Grinch.
There's nothing worse than someone who, when faced with the possibility other people might be doing something fun, insists loudly that the fun thing isn't really fun and everyone should just stop what they're doing and pay attention to them, don't you know.
But for the first 25 days of December, I just can't help myself.
It's time to admit it: I'm never going to like Christmas.
I suspect there is a subset of the population, to which I belong, that when encouraged to partake in some annual, mandatory happiness, experiences the wholly natural opposite reaction to just bunker down and ride the whole thing out.
It's not that I don't get the appeal of taking the day off work.
The same can be said for spending time with the family, exchanging gifts and wearing a funny hat.
It's not even the crass commercialisation of what was once supposed to be a religious holiday that bugs me.
It's the mass hysteria that accompanies it - where every year, we have to pretend Christmas is the greatest thing we've ever experienced and anyone not currently delirious with happiness should be in therapy working out whatever it was that left them unable to experience joy.
The same mass hysteria that convinces people they're enjoying music they wouldn't otherwise listen to under any circumstance - and makes us encourage children to welcome the prospect of large bearded men breaking into their houses in the dead of night.
That brief window of Christmas afternoon "white wine in the sun" seems to blind us to the fact we spent the month leading up to it working frantically to wrap up loose ends at work and using the intervening seconds to scramble around for the right gift so as not to brutally disappoint close friends and relatives.
But I suspect I've said too much.
... Merry Christmas.
Andrew Thorpe is a journalist and misanthrope at The Observer.