Number 15

Christmas: The Perfect Excuse For A Fight? by Lucy Brazier

It seems to me that for a time of year supposedly celebrating peace on earth, Christmas is remarkably conducive to conflict. Families that haven’t spoken all year are thrown together for the annual exercise of teeth-gritting and tongue-biting. The disagreements over ‘tradition’ – are sprouts a festive essential or the work of the devil? The forced amiability of the office Christmas party, where you are surrounded by people you have hated all year and are unlikely to feel any more warmly towards just because it is Jesus’ birthday. And the violent scrums at the checkouts are surely the least Christian thing a person could witness all year.

ChristmasLucyThere’s another point of debate – the very origins of Christmas itself. It’s a Christian festival. It’s a Pagan festival. Aliens invented Christmas. Personally, I rather like to think that it has its roots in the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia – a rowdy affair by anyone’s standards. An epic celebration held between 17th and 25th December, traditional Saturnalian activities included singing naked in the street (an early form of carolling, no doubt), the eating of the Roman equivalent of gingerbread men (a nod to human sacrifice) and festivities often descended into drunken fights – very much like many Christmas Days across the world today.

Mankind isn’t really that interested in peace on Earth; what mankind really likes is an excuse for a good old-fashioned dust-up. So this Christmas why not enter into the spirit of things – sharpen your elbows in preparation for the commercial excesses, treat your neighbours to a drunk and naked rendition of Silent Night and get ready to tell your in-laws what you really think of them. You might as well make the most of it. It’s only once a year, after all.


About the Author:
My name is Lucy Brazier and I am the writer of the Secret Diary Of PorterGirl blog.

My first novel is available now.

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27 thoughts on “Advent Calendar Day 15: Christmas: The Perfect Excuse For A Fight? by Lucy Brazier

  1. I like Christmas and I like the Christmas spirit. But I don’t like the sugary Christmas spirit where people seem to have to turn into the counterpart of chocolate box lids or sentimental Victorian or Victoriana postcards.
    One could even go to other pagan traditions other than Roman Saturnalia to see that the Christian Church has used the old festivals of the winter solstice and christianized them. Then the Christian festival has been turned as a pretext to wassail and carol and eat and drink as inthe Saturnalia and other pagan festivals: the wheel has now turned full again and we are almost back to where it started … but without even thinking abouut the solstice. This festival has no deep meaning for lots of people.
    Therefore why not carouse vigorously as you suggest insted of plunging into the saccharine of fake good will and peace on earth?
    (All this done tongue in cheek, as your brilliant post, of course).

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  2. Haha! This is awesome and I think most, if not all, people can attest to witnessing this form of chaos at least once in their lives. There are always going to be conflicts. However, I think the best thing to do is take it in stride. We can’t let something like a nasty remark ruin the entire holiday, can we? I mean, you can hold the grudge the other 364 days of the year. :p

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  3. So true. My brother and I would start Christmas morning with a fight. Seemed a tradition almost as much as dad, stil hungover bellowing at us to pipe down. Looking back he’d probably had about 2 hours sleep at that point. Yes dust ups are part of a good Christmas tradition. PS leave the sprouts alone!. They are crucial to a good if windy day!

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  4. I’ve been sharpening my elbows round the shops…maybe it’s the stress of having shopped until we drop that makes the actual day prone to conflict…

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  5. I’m very surprised that naked carol singing hasn’t become law in Australia. Indeed, as I did mention in my contribution to Solveig’s calendar, Santa would be better off wearing Speedos in Australia than that thick red woolly suit. Australians can drink virtually any other nation under the table and still wipe them out on the cricket pitch. At least, in their dreams.
    My kids seem to argue a lot in the lead up to Christmas. It gets very hot here and with all the end of year activities, they’re tired and needing a rest. There was one year where I pretended to ring Santa and tell him just how naughty they’d been. I was fuming.
    Hope you had a great Christmas and I really loved this post and had a good laugh xx Rowena

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  6. I can settle one little argument, if you will but take my advice: NO sprouts of the Brussels variety – alfalfa sprouts are better suited to summer salads and the bean variety to Chinese restaurants.

    As for the southern hemisphere celebrants: the heat of the weather is enough to make anyone quarrelsome. We needn’t worry overmuch about dust-ups, however. It’s too darned hot to fight for long.

    And now I am returning to the Secret Diary from whence I came, after pinning the picture of lovely Lucy in her long-johns to my ‘Ho Ho Ho – Xmas Chuckles’ Board.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

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