The Top Five Ways You Know it’s Christmas


5) Decorations

I’m not talking about the tinsel that appears in Coles almost as soon as they discount the leftover Easter eggs. Or the sickeningly long line of stroppy families waiting to see the Myer window displays at Bourke Street. I’m not even talking about the perfunctory and slightly depressing council-issued Christmas wreaths that spring up on lampposts. I really know Christmas is here when they decorate the Big Issue vendors, covering them in tinsel and popping felt reindeer antlers on their heads.  It really adds a whole new level of guilt to not buying a copy.


4) Carols

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Christmas carol actually coming out of a real-life human being. I’ve only ever heard them piped over P.A. systems by major retailers. Most people hate it. You really have nothing to complain about — the stuff that’s warbling away in David Jones isn’t that bad. When I was a teenager I worked in a fast food restaurant and the music was piped in via a corporate radio station, giving us no control. Try a nine-hour shift of Perry Como singing Jingle Bells in a calypso beat.


3) Parties

Work functions start springing up all over the place. They are great opportunity to get drunk and exorcise the demons of the year, and also finally pash Linda from accounting (If you don’t have a Linda from accounting in your life at this point, don’t worry — at some point you will). Although I swear to god I’ve watched people try and create sexual tension 48 hours before the party starts. I work at a video store, so I don’t get a Christmas party, and for good reason. That would be like standing on the deck of the titanic and refusing to get into the lifeboat until someone gave you a bath toy.


2) Television Specials

When I was a kid it was clay-mation movies about Rudolph, Frosty and I think Santa Claus saving winter or something? Now it’s a steady stream of American sitcoms that all teach wonderful lessons about togetherness and the importance of family. These lessons come in handy on Christmas day when my drunk, bogan uncle pulls me aside and asks me how I’ll ever make any money out of my degree.


1) Cheer

Above all else, this is a special time when a person can act like a complete asshole and totally get away with it by saying: “It’s just that time of year.”