I may have told this story before but every year around this time I am cursed with the recurring memory of my mother shouting to me one Christmas Eve night in 1986:
“Yuh see YOU! You are a SELFISH child! Just Selfish and Ungrateful!”
A speech was given after this introduction but like every Charlie Brown Christmas Special all I heard after that was
Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah Mwah…..Nothing else stuck!
I won’t go into the reasons she called me selfish except to say that I was not appreciative of the gift I had received that Christmas.
Move forward to 2011 and I just don’t bother with Christmas nor do I even expect gifts from anyone at all.
Every year, I get the same excuses that I get for my birthday:
You too hard to shop for and me aint have no setta money to be buying up stuff for all kinda people
My response: So I am now all kinda people? Nice!
I just don’t bother anymore.
Apparently it is ok for everyone to be selfish but if I demand attention, I am the one that is not understanding or appreciative of people…LOL, and people wonder why I live alone and love it!!!!
Anyway, I realise that every year people become more and more selfish around Christmas time but in their eyes, they just believe that its their of enjoying the Christmas Season to the Max.
I had the privilege of being a part of a Children’s Christmas Party put on by the Unit my office falls under. We went to Pt Cumana Primary Government School on Saturday 10th December and threw them a Christmas Party. It was fun (well as much fun as a room full of screaming children can be).
During the organising process, the team leader for the party suggested that we get extra gifts for the event, just in case other children come along to the party. I quickly raised my hand and said that it should not be done as we need to stop feeding the “Gimme Gimme” mentality from an early age. My comment was shut down as they thought I should grow a heart before speaking about children like that.
In my wisdom I couldn’t understand how someone who doesn’t go to the school could come to a party they weren’t invited to and expect a gift. It boggled my mind.
I am glad no one took me on. Cut to the day of the party and with the arrival of Santa, you saw kids with eyes beaming and all smiles. As each name was called, you saw some kids light up and others had worried looks on their faces as if they believed their names would not be called. I actually had to comfort a couple kids when I saw their faces morphing into wailing banshees…
That day every kid got a present and all were happy. It was a weird feeling to see the happiness in their faces. Even the ones that didn’t belong to the school got a present and didn’t care. Once they heard their names, joy was in their hearts. I was touched.
I would ignore the fact that one kid on seeing that he received a book and some comics, threw it into a corner and sucked his teeth (He was 14 and in Standard 4). And another dropped her present somewhere and went to maco other kids presents and on returning could not find her. She walked up to Santa and told him that she lost her present and so she needed another one to go home with. Sigh… Kids say the darndest things..
There was also the bully who kept pushing kids in the bouncy castle and taking their stuff while they were eating it, but on the sight of Santa, he started to scream and ran to his mother for protection.
Anyway I mentioned this event because when we got back to work on Monday, our Group Head sent out an email congratulating the two organisers of the event and everyone who took part. However, only the two organisers names were mentioned and a group of people started to complain that they worked so hard and deserved the recognition. Then one let it slip that they only attended the event so that on their Performance Appraisal Report they would have done some Community work.
I was livid! I was on my feet for over 5 hours taking pictures of these low levels demons that kept either pulling at my camera or insisting that I do mini photoshoots with them and their friends.
I was accused of not being a very good photographer; his daddy is better. (Steups!!) One even tapped me on my bottom and told me that it real big and she walked away laughing hard. (Alas I could not express my weight issues to the child, she would not understand, but given the size of her mother, I knew karma would return to her later on). Anyway, my point is that I did this because I wanted to. I didn’t do it for accolades or for my appraisal form; I did it because I like helping out.
I never realised is that this is the common mood of people around Christmas time, they are just super-self serving bastards! To appease the disgruntled masses, my immediate boss gave instructions to issue a free Movietowne Ticket pass to each of the people that helped out on the day. I refused mine on the account that I am always there anyway and like the “opium of the masses dictates” – My reward is in heaven.
On another note, A friend had told me about a co-worker whose daughter had a hole in her heart and that the father was busy trying to raise money for an operation. My friend had put forward an idea to the person in charge of the Christmas party that they take $50 out of their $225 per person allocation for the party and give it to help the guy with his funding raising exercise. The organiser loved the idea but when she put it to other staff members they flatly rejected it saying that the organisation doesn’t give them much and so they want a good party.
Really? That was the response?
Oh yes it was. So ignore the fact that most people who attend Christmas functions don’t eat much nor do they drink a lot either (It is just one or two that drink til they are drunk and embarrass everyone else); they however need to see the food go to waste to prove that they had a good time.
This however doesn’t apply to me as no matter where I am I make friends with the caterers as I am a single man and a few pastelles, samosas, quiches with ham and turkey slices can go along way in preventing me from cooking on a daily basis.
I have therefore given up on the goodness of man and their ability to do the right thing. I was once told by someone that the magic of Christmas means they can’t lie to people on Christmas day. Yeah right! So for the other 364 days it’s ok?
Where has the love gone?
Where is the true meaning of Christmas?
Did we ever know the TRUE meaning of Christmas?
Were we always pretending?
Every year, I get the nice emails/text messages from family members who will remain nameless and it always talks about what they want. I laugh at each of them because they always start off saying that they don’t need much for Christmas and then the list goes on about alternative gift suggestions should I not be able to get the item that they really want!
In the end, I still get them something though and it is mainly because my mother told me 25 years ago that I was SELFISH and UNGRATEFUL!
I know some of you remember me complaining about getting Detour T-shirts for Christmas from my Mom and therefore think that I should be appreciative, well my basic problem with the gift is that there was no thought put into it. She walked into a Detour outlet, saw aSaleonJerseys, (probably 3 for $100/150) and bought them and proceeded to give one to me, one to my brother and they other to my step dad. That required no thought at all. Was I not even deserving of someone actually shopping around and coming up with a present for me alone? Somehow more time is devoted to children and gift giving than on adults.
Please remember the song said: To kids from 1 to 92 (and not 19 as I previously thought)…
So here am I, stuck feeling guilty all this time while everyone else is…well…you know how you are……
So no matter where you are or what you believe:
Shub Naya Varsh
Buone Feste Natalizie