Gray is the new black.


At this time of year with the ending, all the parties, so close every person’s thoughts are filled with the worry that can only be ‘will I be able to fit into that outfit?’  Even men, who nowadays are no longer shamed to ask for beauty products in Boots are seen foregoing another pint for respect to their waistlines.  They stand rubbing moisturiser into the palms, spend half a week’s beer allowance on spray on tans and actually have opinions on soft furnishings and wear pink.

Ah, the pleasures of living in the 21st Century.  The politically correct generation which has borne forth hatred and discrimination against the very people who pulled is kicking and screaming – although mostly the tantrum is because of the laziness gene now imbedded in us all – from the horrors of the twentieth century… But who cares, it’s Christmas, hurrah.  Every man and woman grab a glass of whatever you can, eat whatever you like, do whatever you want and say whatever you feel.  The hangover can last for the whole year if you want it too but for now it’s time to let your hair down, kick your well-trodden shoes off at the front door and strap some tinsel covered Deely Boppers to your head and dance like you’ve just trodden in something suspicious and are vigorously trying to remove your coat.

The cafes and bars are now by invitation or ticket only, and if you want to celebrate the New Year out on the town, you’d better book in February.

The streets filled with maniacal purchasers, swarming on the shops and leaving nothing but empty shelves and the staff gibbering in the corners.  Patience becomes a thing of the past as feet get squashed; elbows thrust in faces and everyone queues and queues and queues and queues.  Suddenly a trip to the local supermarket to get a pint of milk and some Chocolate chip Digestives becomes a forty minute queue in the car park, and even longer at the tills.

This does not mean that I want to come across a sour puss, far from it.  ‘Gray is the new black’ is not a description of the mood of the season.  Black does not refer to any deep seeded depression, anger or loneliness.  Christmas maybe stressful it may be annoying and it may be, beyond belief, expensive, but… it’s lots and lots of fun.

I love Christmas.  It doesn’t matter that it’s over commercialised.  It doesn’t matter that the primary reason for the whole occasion is based on a belief system that very few actually do still believe in, and please don’t disagree.  If you believe great, that’s fantastic but society itself changes all the time and with different cultures come different beliefs, these too are of course brilliant, diversity is marvellous… But for me it’s Christmas and everything that goes with it.  The excitement on the faces of all the little children and the same songs played in the shops, which you know all the words too.  There is something magical about the way that daylight is scarce and the black (reference title) covers the world, as if the clouds have evaporated and you can see far, far, far into the distant of space.  And the land shimmers with the frost and every window, gutter, tree is covered with twinkling lights and faces are red from the cold and the joy of the season.

Winter can be quite a dismal time but not around Christmas, and that’s why it’s so fantastic.  Not even just that though.  There’s the carols and all the singers who stand with big, fluffy mittens, a wispy smoke like breath escaping from between their cracked lips.  The sounds of muffled clapping marking the end and then everyone returns home to more twinkly lights and bowls full of nuts and sweets.

What can you possibly dislike about Christmas?  I have no answer.  I suppose… The famous black dress syndrome is certain to take control of a frenzy of poor women as they claw at zips, desperate to squeeze into an outfit two sizes too small so it can be torn open as they shift themselves back onto the copier at the Christmas party.  Who knows what will happen?

Family… that’s what will be great.  People not seen for months at a time will all gather together.  Presents and drinkies and all leading forward to the New Year and the promise of better things for all.  So many new beginnings sought with ridiculous resolutions held until January the 2nd.  Things may change; they may not, but no matter what everyone will feel better for it.

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