Joe’s Crow Country

CHRISTMAS is probably the most looked-forward to time of year in this country, and everyone has a different reason to do so.

It’s a Christian festival, and those of that faith will be remembering the birth of Jesus Christ, but as I’m an atheist, it takes on a different meaning for me.

These are the words and phrases that immediately spring to mind when I think of Christmas: good beer, good food, relaxation, family, presents, late nights, early mornings, Noel Edmunds, Only Fools and Horses, Eastenders, time off work, boxing day football, charades, scategories.

Reading that, it could be said I’m your classic Christmas exploiter, and I would bet that a fair few of you are too. We basically stuff ourselves, over-indulge, don’t do any work, watch TV and gleefully accept some free stuff.

But to me, that’s what Christmas is all about. It’s an end of year unwinding period, to be spent with those closest to you, doing nothing but re-charging your batteries before giving it another slog in January.

Every year I tell myself to try and not put on much weight over Christmas and to watch what I eat and drink, but it never happens. This year, I’m going to drink and eat at every opportunity, and bare the brunt of it at the first training session of the New Year.

Does it make me a bad person that I am openly exploiting what is a Christian festival? I don’t think so.

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Christmas just happens to be when it is. It ties in perfectly with the New Year, and is a great time for a break. It could be moved to the summer I suppose, and we all had a couple of weeks of less dynamism in the sunshine, but I’m happy enough to use Jesus’ birthday as a backdrop. It’s just tradition to me.

I’m just as Muslim, Jewish or Hindu as I am Christian, so it could be argued that I should have time off and indulge for Eid, Hanukah or Diwali.

However, I’m not spoiling myself at Christmas for religious reasons, it just happens to be a when I have always done it. We have to chill out and eat lots at some time, so it might as well be now.