Sunday I’ll be going to Copenhagen with some friends to visit a certain museum (the fact that I don’t even remember which one only shows how eager I am to visit museums) (It’s not like I don’t wanna go. I do. I feel I have to work on my general culture/knowledge. But that’s really the only reason I’m going. That and my friends :).) and as we were making arrangements, one of them suggested we’d go a bit early so we could taste a bit of the “Christmas atmosphere”.
The thing is: she’s right. It is perfectly possible to go to a Christmas market mid-november. I was in Copenhagen last weekend. I was in Göteborg the day before when there was the grand inauguration of the first part of the walk of light (3,4kms in length) and the christmas market at Liseberg. And you know what? It ruins Christmas.
I like Christmas, I really do. I like the tree and the presents and the lights and the candy and the christmas market and everything else surrounding it. I even like the family dinners, uncomfortable as they are. And the cities are simply beautiful in the evening, with christmas carols playing and lights everywhere.
But it’s too much too early – Sinterklaas hasn’t even come yet! (the fact that Sinterklaas (the ‘real’ Santa Claus) doesn’t come to Sweden or almost any other country is thereby completely irrelevant.) And really, I get cranky from all this Christmas stuff. Christmas means holidays, so I get all happy and holiday-ish – until reality strikes: I got to work another 5 weeks. It’s depressing. But at least they’ve gotten rid of the “X-mas” thing that seemed to dominate decorations the past few years … .
Christmas lasts one day, but it’s celebrated for almost 3 months: once Halloween has passed, the Christmas decorations quickly take their place (when I was shopping for my Pippi-costume on October 30th, the boxes with Christmas cards and stuff were already standing in the store, ready to be unpacked and placed in the racks) and they won’t disappear before end of January (or if they do, they are replaced with Valentine stuff. which is worse.). So basically, we celebrate Christmas 25% of the time.
I suggest we bring this percentage down. Drastically. And thus I present: my personal Christmas-celebration-manual.
First of all, I like the lights in the city – it’s a bit depressing and all, this whole winter- and early dark-thing – so they can stay. But I don’t want to see any Christmas market, fake smiling Santa’s, toy commercials, decorated trees, Christmas cards, … before December 6th. December 15 (my mother’s birthday) you’re allowed to set up the tree: this gives you 10 days of counting down. 10 days is a nice number to be counting down from, and then you can actually look forward, because it’s REALLY coming closer. Next, there is a week of holidays between Christmas and New Year – yey! The tree and everything else can then stay another week or so, but by January 6 (Epiphany) all decorations should go back in the box, until next Christmas.
It will be a great month.