We’re only mere days away from Christmas and my house isn’t feeling very Christmassy. And it seems I’m not the only one. There have been quite a few remarks between my friends that Christmas isn’t exactly what it used to be like.
It’s not the rampant commercialism of the holiday that has us vexed, but rather the lack of that special Christmassy spirit that we’re used to. Nary a shop assistant will wear a Christmas hat these days. Shops are full of jostling masses of people looking for the ultimate Christmas gifts.
So whose fault is it?
I have decided to blame the internet. Here are my five reasons:
1. No more Christmas cards
Postal services across the planet have been lamenting the demise of post because of email, but nowhere is it more apparent than the lack of hand-written Christmas cards – my mantle is empty this year. In fact I haven’t received one Christmas card yet.
2. Christmas shopping sucks
It’s incredibly convenient to do your shopping online. In fact most people I know have pre-ordered their Christmas presents in November already. Which means that people aren’t dawdling around the malls looking for presents anymore. In fact, because of online stores we know exactly what prices should be like and so we groan most frustrated at store clerks because their prices seem a rip-off. Poof! Gone is the Christmas spirit.
3. Social media has made us unsociable
When last did you go out to dinner with friends and not turned to your mobile to look for the last tweet, or WhatsApp, or text? Social media has made us incredibly unsocial in the real world. We struggle to communicate, share stories and just be in the moment with our friends without an anxiety attack brought on by FOMO.
4. Where are the Christmas carollers?
I haven’t seen Christmas carollers in years. Most people would rather sit at home on Twitter than walk around outside singing Christmas carols door-to-door at random neighbours. In fact the internet has killed the idea of neighbours (I know more about the lives of the people on my Twitter account than I do about the couple living next door).
5. Where is the family?
Christmas has always been a time for family. Sitting around the big dinner table with the turkey, the roast lamb, the gammon and the big trifle for dessert (spiked heavily by Aunty Vera). These days the internet allows people to work and live anywhere and everywhere. Grandparents get to watch their grandchildren grow up through weekly Skype conversations. But it also means that when it comes to Christmas, family is 3 days journey away (and who wants to travel over Christmas anyway?)
For many people I know Christmas is going to be a quiet, somewhat lonely, affair simply because the family will be spread out over the whole globe.
In fact Christmas is becoming more and more like “Dinner for One” with Miss Sophie sharing a tipple with six imaginary friends. Except this time, they’re all sharing dinner over Skype.