Grinch who chose not to celebrate Christmas

  • 2000-12-21
  • Jorgen Johansson
Santa Claus is coming to town and people are already on the verge of having heart attacks from Christmas shopping. In every department store in Riga the same scenes take place. People standing in long lines to buy precious gifts for their loved ones and presents to less-liked relatives out of politeness - a tie for dad and a pair of socks for some long-lost cousin.

In windows small Santas are wiggling their hips and sing "Jingle Bell Rock" to people passing by in the turmoil, and Riga is spending tons of money to keep Christmas decorations lit all over downtown. Money I am sure could be spent on thousands of more important things. The commercial Christmas is here. A holiday both loved and hated. I chose not to either love or hate Christmas a long time ago. I simply chose not to celebrate it at all, and I have discovered many ways of getting around the stress and chaos in the streets.

There are a few things on this planet that I am convinced were invented for people who sometimes like to hide from the rest of the world, like me during Christmas season. For instance the DVD player, the video player, computer games, the microwave oven and the switching off button on mobile phones.

For the last eight years, I have tried to make myself scarce during Christmas with various results. I found the best thing to do during Christmas is to work. Still, if there are no opportunities to work, I turn off my mobile phone, cook some pasta in the microwave oven, watch movies, play computer games and just wait for society to return to normal again.

Afterwards comes the time when one has to listen to every heart sobbing story regarding what everybody got for Christmas. Everything from the wrong brand of clothes to various electrical gadgets which won't work. Then I wonder, "whatever happened to peace on earth and goodwill toward man when all we do is complain?"

The best thing about Christmas is that when it's over, one has 365 days of rest until next year's big crescendo. Merry Christmas.