A disclaimer: I was not the anonymous author of a submission to Sunday Telegraph agony aunt Graham Norton seeking the answer, other than hibernation, to coping with Christmas. But I might well have been. Every word of “Anon” rang clear.
He/she admitted actively loathing this time of year in every way – “the food, the forced jollity, the parties, the weather.” Yet, like me, “Anon” would not admit to being depressed – certainly not in the way this condition is so often referred to these days. We are simply “grumpy and excluded.”
In words that I could well have written – and have certainly voiced – we do not like to spoil the fun of people around us and, somewhat reluctantly, go along with the whole “festive” thing in a half-hearted fashion.
But my sympathies are with “Anon” who just wishes they were on a beach somewhere, although that tends to be a somewhat impractical solution.
Agony aunt Norton has no real solution to our grumpy mood other than suggesting we opt out of all the merriment by claiming we have to be somewhere else whereas we are actually sat at home on the couch, watching the telly in our own sweet time.
At least he admits he has his own doubts … “I’m not sure when the celebration of the birth of Christ turned into large groups of drunken men in black urinating in the street, but there must be somewhere in between.”
Indeed, if only we could find it among all the blandishments to buy expensive (mostly) electronic toys and gifts or, Heaven forbid, to give Mum an ironing board for Chrissy.
This year’s solution is to escape to a self-catering rural hideaway on the edge of Dartmoor. Normal service will be resumed after five nights of Christmas solitude.