Well thanks to Covid it looks like a crappy Christmas for all with most countries having some sort of restrictions against seasonal revelling. No office Christmas parties, no wassailing and no door to door carolling (every cloud on that last one I suppose)!
I do miss office Christmas parties. One that sticks in the mind was back in the late 80's when a few dozen of us civil servants booked a Christmas dinner in the Novotel in Hammersmith, West London. Being the Civil Service, we'd already had a few drinks on the way there and were in true party mode by the time we pitched up and took our places at the table. It all looked festive enough and we were looking forward to getting stuffed with Turkey and trimmings.
Then something weird and unsettling happened. The first course came out, and, horror of horrors, it was Nouvelle cuisine. We looked down on basically empty plates, save for a few leaves and a squirt of sauce. Suddenly the air turned sacred blue as a bunch of hard-done-by office workers feared their main course would be a sparrow with a grape in its mouth. Words were had with the management, all the starters were returned and the hotel, sensing the bad publicity that a violent riot of incensed pen-pushers would bring, relented and cooked for us instead a traditional Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings).
If like me you're not a particularly religious person, maybe a bit spiritual, perhaps in awe of the real wonders of the universe like singularities but you're just not comfortable with the idea of an old man with a beard watching you while you're taking a shower, you may feel a bit of a fraud celebrating Crimbo. I've found a comfortable alternative that justifies partaking in as much Christmas cheer as you like. Also, you can observe all the good socialist teachings of Jesus and the new testament without having to buy into anything supernatural, divine or weird. It's called Christian atheism. Basically you just follow the moral and ethical teachings without acknowledging the existence of an overarching, omniscient, supernatural creator. It's really good as you can stuff yourself with as much Christmas pud and mince pies as you like without a pang of guilt (well until you get on the scales in January)
This also means you can enjoy Christmas carols and services without feeling like too much of an outsider. I came across a cracking version of Silent Night recently made by the American soul singer Michael Macdonald. If you know of a better version of a traditional carol, let me know!
Merry Christmas everybody!