So, here in Sweden its Christmas Eve and therefore time for a weekend enclosed in a small room with your entire family, frantically trying to keep up with the hysterical perception of Christmas being a "calm and cheerful holiday". It really isn't.
In striving for tranquility and coziness, most families would sacrifice their firstborn for the perfect house decorations, the perfect Christmas dinner and the general appearance of a loving home, whilst all family members end up having a stress-induced ulcer because they bought both silvery and golden glitter and because IT WILL LOOK LIKE A PROSTITUTE DECORATED THE FUCKING CHRISTMAS TREE IF WE HAVE BOTH SILVER AND GOLD and "To prevent you from starting sniffing glue, here's a tool to help you cook a stew" IS NOT A SUITABLE CHRISTMAS GIFT RHYME! In conclusion, Christmas is usually terrible. You spend the entire month of December trying to look for gifts for friends and family - but not just gifts, but personal gifts. The personal part is very important, the gift is supposed to symbolize your eternal friendship and how well you know the receiver and it should be intimate and thoughtful. I'm thinking of just starting to hand out my body parts to family and friends, it doesn't get more personal than that. "Mom, you know how I was a very angry teenager and used to give you the finger? I thought that now when I'm moving out, you should at least get the finger to have something to reminisce about. Love you!"
Not only should the gifts be personal, they should also be expensive. People just don't appreciate homemade gifts anymore; every time I gave my parents a drawing filled with gold-sprayed macaroni glued to a cardboard, they just looked at me with utter contempt. I put a lot of effort into making that, especially for a 18-year-old. No, gifts are supposed to be very expensive, preferably so expensive that you cannot afford food with colours for the next two months. However, at the same time, the gift is supposed to show what benevolent character you possess; because there is always one bastard ruining everyone else's gifts by giving a goat to a starving family in Cambodia and then giving you a conceited smirk whilst saying something like "Oh, you bought him an expensive DVD-player? Well, I'm sure the starving children would have loved eating for once, but they'll propably understand the importance of watching Die Hard 2 over and over again."
To be fair, this year's Christmas is different. People are calm, not many presents have been bought or exchanged, we have no plans for the entire day and I can actually relax and be with my family in a ordinary loving fashion, just being happy and co-existing in bliss.
I reckon I will destroy that bliss when I do my Tom Waits-interpretation of Santa Claus and pass out under the Christmas Tree with a bottle of whiskey. Tradition is tradition.