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Friday 22nd December 2006

When the baby Jesus came up with the idea of being born, he must have known what it would lead to. He was after all magick and all knowing and able to see the future. Even as a tiny baby when most of us only know how to poo and cry, he was thinking to himself -"Yup, people will come to celebrate today by buying each other gifts and having a big dinner, which is kind of the opposite of everything I will ever say, but come on I think we can let that go for one day a year. I don't want to come over all holier than thou. Though obviously I am. But I'm not going to show off about it."
But even though he was wise and good and holy I don't think even he could have predicted hwo bad and ugly it would all get. He'd be spinning in his grave, if only he'd had one, if he could have been with me in Chiswick today. It was a living Hell from start to finish. It took me ages to find anywhere to park - Sainsbury's Car Park was bursting at the seams and twenty or more cars were circling around hoping to chance across the one person who was leaving, then have to fight it out to see who got the space. I stayed for five minutes and then decided to take my chances on the street, but there was no room at the inn. Forty five minutes of driving around the streets of West London and finally a car pulled out of a space just as I was approaching. I was in. But the Hell was only just starting.
Because now I had to trawl through shops looking for presents for my stupid, greedy family, who apparently are too high and mighty to accept cast offs from a posh hamper now.
Everywhere was full of pale-faced unhappy looking families and bickering couples crammed every aisle. All the queues were long and composed of crotchety fools. It was impossible to walk down the street without bumping into someone laden down with bags. Is this what Christmas is about? Is this what Jesus wanted?
Admittedly you could argue that this was my own fault, because I have chosen to do my shopping at almost the last possible moment, but Jesus must have known that most people would do that.
Was Christmas always like this or has it become more about commercialisation and spending money than ever. Because spending all this money didn't seem to be making anyone all that happy and I can't imagine that for most people the effort was really worth it.
It made me think that maybe it was time for a new version of the Christmas Carol, where a modern day Scrooge who loves commercial Christmas and decorates his house with loads of tacky lights is visited by three ghosts who show him how Christmas used to be and point out that Jesus would literally vomit up his own stomach if he saw what he had inspired and then show him a future where the world is a barren desert due to the stupid overindulgence of Yuletide. Scrooge would realise that Christmas is humbug after all and maybe join Al Quaida and blow up the world on Christmas Day, thus putting a stop to this misery and waste.
By the time I had bought all my presents I felt a bit less bad about it all though. And although my family won't be getting anything that will make their head explode with excitement, it was good that I cared enough to endure this open air mental institution in order to try and find something I thought that they would like. Maybe Christmas isn't so bad after all. Maybe the baby Jesus knew what he was doing all along. I hope he managed to get a contract with all the shopkeepers that gave him at least 10%. Never dying does mean that you incur a lot of expenses.

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