Everyone says things like "Are you ready for Christmas?", "Have you done your Christmas shopping?" or "Doing anything special for Christmas?", and frankly I'm sick of it. All of it. I don't do Christmas and I don't want it forced down my throat 24 hours a day, thank you very much.
I don't have a problem with the concept of Christmas - it's a religious festival and if it's part of your faith then there's no reason to not celebrate it in the manner that your religion suggests.
Unfortunately, what Christmas has become for 99 percent of the UK population is nothing more than an annual commercial festival of greed and gluttony, and for me that's just wrong. But everyone's so caught up in this period of rampant consumerism, they don't stop to think "What am I doing this for?"
Ask any kid what Christmas is about and the first word out of their mouth will be "Presents!".
Presents that will all too often be received by someone who says "Ooh thank you, it's lovely" while thinking "or at least it will be when I've returned it to the store and exchanged it for something I actually like".
As for all the bloody fairy lights and decorations..... The worst house I know of in the area is on a corner in Cottenham. Every year it gets worse. I know they have a collecting box for charity donations, but why not just add up the money spent on lights and electricity and just give that to charity and save the rest of us the eyesore. And there's one on the main road in my village that's in desperate need of a midnight visit with a pair of wire cutters.
Then there's the food situation. More food than everyone could possibly consume in a month is stockpiled for a two day binge before being thrown out because either it's gone manky or you've decided that you can never look at another box of candy orange and lemon slices without wanting to hurl.
And after the binge comes the inevitable and predictable new year resolutions, so it's off to Argos to exchange those unwanted gifts for an exercise bike that will be used intensively for three weeks, then gather dust for six months before being dispatched to the next car boot sale.
Then of course there's the new year sales. As if the retailers haven't drained enough of the life blood of the country with their incessant festive bullshit that started in September, they still feel the need to drag the gullible public back to the stores to slap down their already overheated credit cards on yet more crap they don't need on the basis that it's cheap.
After the event, when the last of the giant turkey has found its way into yet another curry that should have had a more deserving meat in it, and you've been to see the bank manager to discuss how the hell you're going to pay back the debts incurred by your irrational spending spree, you'll most likely be saying "Right that's it, I'm not doing it again next year!". But you will. You know you will, because you don't dare to be different from the crowd.
The image above says it all really. The point is that showing your family you love them is something you should do by your words and actions every day of the year.
There are alternatives to Christmas though. Simply not getting involved is actually very liberating and gives grumpy bastards like me the opportunity to tell people to shove their "Merry Christmas" up their arse.
You can always go all pagan of course, and if you want to celebrate something then the winter solstice is surely more sensible. After all, the start of the return to longer days is something we all yearn for at this time of year.
So on 21st of December we'll be having a good roast dinner, a slice of yule log cake, a small gift each and we'll give thanks to mother nature for the imminent return of days when you can drive home from work in the daylight and spend long evenings drinking wine in the garden and swatting wasps.