The Ghost of Christmas Truths
( Christmas Eve )
" Daddy? "
" Yes son? "
" Why isn't it snowing? "
" Er... because it's raining. "
" But shouldn't it be snowing today? "
" Why? "
" Because it's christmas, daddy. It always snows at christmas doesn't it? "
" .....No. Hardly ever....Actually, change that....Never. "
" Oh.....But what about all those songs? "
" What songs? "
" The bloody songs, daddy. "
" Matthew! Where did you learn that word from? It's a bad word. "
" But that's what you call them daddy. Every time a christmas song comes on, you say ' oh not these bloody songs again. ' You did daddy, that's what you called them. "
" Right, well er....that's a word grown ups use sometimes, not one that you should be using. "
" Okay daddy. "
" If your mummy hears you saying that word she'll give you a smack. "
" Sorry daddy. "
" And then she'll give me an even bigger smack for having said it infront of you. "
" Okay..... So why do all the christmas songs go on about snow, if it never actually snows at christmas? "
" Matthew, those bloo.....those songs go on about a lot of things that aren't actually true. And a lot of supposedly nice things that don't actually happen. "
" Like what daddy? "
" Well....well okay... the truth is, these songs always tell of how the world and its people become much nicer at this time of year, and of how only nice things happen at christmas. "
" But nice things do happen daddy, last year I got a bike. "
" Err...yes I know, but I'm talking on a wider scale here. On a wider scale, nice things don't happen at all.... "
" Yes actually that's true, because I remember the year before....when I didn't get a bike. "
" Okay, well forget about the bike for the moment... "
" I have forgotten about it daddy, cos now I've got a Gameboy instead. "
" Will you shut up about bikes and Gameboys, you asked me a question and now I'm trying to educate you a little. "
" Sorry daddy. "
" So as I was saying, Christmas is not a particularly nice time of year at all. Infact if you look back over recent years you come to realise that it's a horrible time of year when lots of horrible things happen. "
" What horrible things? "
" Oh, you name it, it happens. Earthquakes in Turkey or Iran or Mexico, Tsunami's in South East Asia, Famines in Africa, terrorist bombings in the Middle East..... "
" But- "
" Hang on son, I haven't finished yet. Plane crashes, train crashes, motorway pile-ups, floods, house fires that wipe out entire families, murders, suicides, rapes, muggings, homelessness, and elderly people having their homes broken into. Basically, lots of people die at christmas, and lots of people suffer. "
" ........Oh. "
" All these things happen at any time of year of course, but particularly at christmas it seems. And then on top of that, you have all the little things as well. Just go christmas shopping with mummy one day and you'll see it for yourself. "
" See what daddy? "
" Everyone's ill, walking around spreading flu germs, pushing and shoving, getting stressed over things that don't really matter, being greedy and wanting more than they really need, hurling abuse at worn out store assistants working twelve hour shifts, and generally being ten times more obnoxious than they are at any other time of year.... Ha! 'The season of good will' they call it....good will my arse! "
" Your what daddy. "
" Nothing Matthew, another grown up word that mummy will smack you for saying. "
" So... if all these horrible things happen at christmas, why is everyone so happy and jolly and wearing silly paper hats? "
" But that's the point son, they're not. They're just pretending to be. They're forcing themselves to behave in a happy manner because they feel pressured to. They waste lots of money on gifts nobody wants, and on food that never gets eaten. And then in February or March, when really they should be enjoying their lives just as much as in December, they can't because they're still paying off their credit card bills. You see, people want too much at christmas. Instead of being happy with what they already have, cocooned in their semi detached houses and thousands of miles away from the natural disasters happening elsewhere in the world, they just want more and more. "
" But what about the songs daddy? The songs are always so happy. "
" The songs are designed to be happy in order to make money. No-one wants to buy a miserable christmas song do they? "
" I suppose not. "
" They're written to force people to be happy, and the people buy them and listen to them to force themselves to be happy. A nice little earner for the music stars and the record companies. "
" Right, I see. "
" But all in all, not very reflective of this time of year at all....Oh, and no....it never ever snows. And even if it did, we'd probably all rush out to build a snowman, slip over and break our collar-bones. "
" So.... all those people singing those happy songs....they're just liars then? "
" Stinking liars Matthew, every single one of them. "
" Even Cliff? "
" Especially Cliff. "
" Daddy? "
" Yes son? "
" I'm only six you know. "
" Yes?....And? "
" Well....you've kind of spoilt the magic of christmas for me at a very young age now. "
" I know. But I think it's best to fill you in now , spare you the disappointment later on. "
" Thank you daddy...I think. "
" Oh and by the way, all that nonsense about Santa Claus.... "
" He doesn't exist does he? It was you all along wasn't it? "
" Oh... you already guessed that bit then. How do you know? "
" I've known that since last year daddy! You stubbed your toe on my bedpost and I heard you muttering ' ow bloody hell, you better like these presents Matthew otherwise I'm gonna wring your bloody neck tomorrow. ' ....It sort of gave the game away. "
It wasn't Matthew's father that told him such things that evening.
The words spilled from his mouth, but he wasn't consciously aware of having spoken them.
I possessed his body the moment Matthew asked " Why isn't it snowing? ".
I am in the process of doing this in every household in the world, or at least in the Western world. Any part of the world where it's people are consumed by an irrational greed at this time of year.
All children who live in these privileged communities, must learn the truth about Christmas.
And that is where I come in.
I am the Ghost of Christmas truths.
It's a long old job though. A lot of homes to visit, and a lot of parent's souls to possess.
And you thought Santa Claus was busy in late December!
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