MY CHRISTMAS ~ Quentin Crisp
I celebrated Christmas this year on October 15th. This was not through any desire to shock my friends; in any case, as I treat Christmas exactly the same as any day, very few of my friends realised I had celebrated Christmas. No, it was in an attempt to bring a little style to Christmas. It is, as normally practised, the most unstylish of all feasts. The same streamers, balloons and mistletoe in a million homes across the kingdom. The only imaginative Christmas ever celebrated took place when the English and German soldiers fraternised in no man’s land on December 25th in the Great War, a campaign which otherwise had no style at all.
One cannot hope at this late date to change the nature of Christmas; the least one can do, then, is to change the date. October 15thh seems the ideal day. The shops are not crowded; the post is not choked with Christmas mail; the weather is better. There also seems a good chance that it is historically authentic. I have studied many paintings of the Nativity by gentlemen with Italian names, and have always been struck by the unanimity with which they decide that Jesus Christ was about two months old on Christmas Day, thus placing his day of birth in mid-October.
This year for Christmas lunch I had an omelette which, as a concession to the holy nature of the day, I ate standing up. I cannot remember what I did on Boxing Day, which this year fell on September 4th, as I find it excessive to have two great holidays crammed into two successive days. Between now and December 25th I shall enjoy the sight of other people doing their Christmas shopping. On the day itself I shall be working as normal, unless time hangs heavy on my hands, in which case I may celebrate Easter. One cannot get these things over with too soon.
A not unhappy December 25th to you all.
PUNCH, December 15, 1976.
a bit thanks to the Quentin Crisp archives.