Father Christmas and the Apocalypse


It’s the season to be merry, blah-blah-blah blah-blah blah-blah, blah-blah.

There aren’t words to describe my grudging admiration and baseless hatred of people who do their Christmas shopping in October. They are an anathema to all god fearing normal individuals. I wouldn’t loathe them quite so much if they didn’t make a habit of telling me how well organised they are, how everything is wrapped already and Christmas lunch is all planned down the last cranberry.

Christmas Eve wouldn’t be right without being mummified by a roll of sticky tape, running out of wrapping paper and using magazine pages in artful designs instead, rising panic and children refuse to sleep, frantic cleaning ahead of tomorrow’s stampede and a vague sense of disquieting guilt that I am knee-deep in consumerism and not at Midnight Mass.

I quite like Midnight Mass actually. Despite my more esoteric leanings, I love the ritual, mainly I love the carols. I like the rousing tunes that any tone-deaf warbler like me can sink our teeth into. Oh Come All Ye Faithful and so on.

My childhood memories of Midnight Mass are clouded by claustrophobia, the miasma of heat rising off too many bodies in too small a space followed by inevitable swooning, once on the Nativity scene that necessitated my quick removal to the icy fingers of the night outside.  I fainted every single year until my family began to leave me behind. Ina more progressive church I might have been hailed as having a divined moment of inspiration, but in the good old C of E I was a minor embarrassment.

I am not totally sure how it happened, but I am now playing host to the whole family on Christmas Day after swearing that it would never happen while I drew breath. Now, I find myself vaguely hoping the Rapture will come with Mayan certainty and whip me off to Paradise before the day arrives. Part of me also wonders if buying Christmas presents is even worth it. Maybe I should wait until tomorrow…

This whole Mayan thing is beginning to spark some of the most bizarre theories of Armageddon I have heard. The Daily Mail offered some experts who reckon a black comet, a super volcano or, my personal favourite, a cancer transmitted from foxes to dogs and then to humans will wipe us all out tomorrow. Mainly I was enraged that any educated individual could think cancer was a communicable disease.

I reckon a more likely scenario would be North Korea and the Middle East firing off weapons of mass destruction and enveloping us all in nuclear winter – but not nearly as interesting as a Restaurant at the End of the Universe scenario.

In light of the coming Apocalypse I reread Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet’s Good Omens last night and had a good laugh.




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