If one more person talks to me about getting into shape for Christmas, I shall scream.
For the entire span of November and December, we seem to have a ticking countdown clock to The Big Day where all our hard work will have culminated into a sleek physique in a sexy Christmas cardigan.
Crash course fitness challenges are all the rage this season. Slimming World erected an appalling sign in my town the second Hallowe’en was over: Only 8 weeks ‘til Christmas! Translation: Only 8 weeks to starve yourself, you big hippo! It’s like when we try to lose weight for a wedding; evidently we don’t care about our bodies for the rest of the year but when staff parties and flashing cameras are in abundance, it’s time to bulk buy Spanx.
Why are we spoiling the only season devoted to true piggery? Is this not what we look forward to all year; the free reign to eat whatever the hell we want? Shoving the fourteenth mini sausage roll into your gob because ‘It’s Christmas!’? To my knowledge, all the best songs reference hot chocolate and mashed potato, not kale and lower than low fat mayonnaise (what is the actual point?)
Why is there a ridiculous obsession with your Christmas self? It’s like an alter ego you pull out from the cupboard, along with the decorations, for the yuletide period. Look, everyone from home, I didn’t get fat! I have a job and a car and a boyfriend and an overwhelming sense of self-worth, thanks for asking!
We feel the need to be at our physical peak of attractiveness for the week that’s in it. Hair salons are stuffed to the rafters, filled with crying girls who dared to go for a boyish bob, only to find out it didn’t suit her features. And it’s too late now to grow it out before Christmas, thus effectively ruining all her festive outings in one fell swoop.
A close friend of mine queried recently what my Christmas hair ‘look’ was going to be. Was I sure I didn’t need to freshen up my balayage? For the sake of the spirit of Christmas? Isn’t the baby Jesus crying out for more highlights and some choppy layers?
I don’t mean to sound like Cindy Lou-Who, begging Whoville to discard their commercial tendencies and focus on the true meaning of Christmas, but we need to get over ourselves. The weather is dire and people’s homes have been flooded. Christmas is the one shred of light in the wintry solitude, where we forget our woes and the imminent doom of January. It is not a time for sucking in and preening; it is a time to bask in the warmth of mulled wine and open fires and gingerbread cookies. It is a time for eating all the good Roses. It is a time where five types of potato is perfectly acceptable for one meal. I’m sure that’s what the birth of baby Jesus is meant to symbolise, anyway. Fairly sure.