I Couldn't Care Less at Christmas: A Guy with a Beard

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I Couldn't Care Less at Christmas: A Guy with a Beard

First of all I would like to share brief thought with all the people who will occupy any of their time starting sentences with 'Christmas is about…'): shut up, no it isn't. I will give breathing space to the people who say it is about Jesus, or to the people who say the Jesus people just nicked it from the winter solstice people, but even they are just cries in the wind these days. Christmas is like the recipe for stew, or the rules for monopoly, there may have been a right answer once, but so many people have imposed their own ideas that it's just impossible to say what the right one is any more. It doesn't matter anyway, we have more important things to attend to.

There are people who will argue, not unreasonably, that Christmas is very hard on the lonely. When everyone else is driving home down the road to hell to be with their family for the festive season, they have nobody. Alone in their houses, on the streets, in their heads. And how much worse must it be to be alone in their loneliness? Should we call off Christmas for them? Leave our revelling and merry making and spend our time selflessly tending to them? Well, no.

So onwards to our man with a beard. And no, he's not Santa, do I look that predictable? No, you can't see me, fair point. He's a tramp, actually, a down and out. He's the guy who sleeps in a shop doorway and bothers you for change when you go past him in the evening. He's a drunk, probably. But that isn't important. He's important. Everyone is important. We don't know what combination of ill fate and poor character left him who and what and where he is, but tonight we are going to do something nice, because he is a person and he's all on his own.

So here's what we're going to do. We're going to buy him a nice scarf. Or a warm hat. Something he can use. We're going to wrap it up nicely and put a little label on it saying 'Happy Christmas' and maybe even our name if we feel like it. Then when we see him around Christmas we will give him the parcel and say 'Merry Christmas mate'. He may be appreciative, he may shout 'ggaaerrrygh' at you for no reason. Maybe he will pretend to be pissed off and then open it when you're out of eyeshot. Who knows. But you tried, that's all you can ever do.

And don't worry if you don't have a bearded tramp to look after. Invite the old lady down the road in for Christmas lunch. Pop round to the bloke on his own next door and ask him if he'd like to pop in for a drink and a bit of Christmas pudding and a game of monopoly. Open the world up and invite the lonely in. It's cold outside.

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