I always love this time of year. Some argue that the traditions are no longer meaningful, that they are suited to a different place and culture. Some even compare them to the rats and other pests that we unwittingly brought with us; seeing them as something to be exterminated so that we can prosper here. I disagree. I think Krismass has survived changes in place and time because it fulfils common needs in all of us.

It’s about getting together with loved ones, eating a lot of rich food and trading presents. Who can claim never to have needed any of these things? If there was ever any other meaning to Krismass, it’s lost. I could argue that we’ve made it our own tradition and moulded it to suit us by forgetting irrelevant bits.

The only problem I have with Krismass is the heat. It makes doing all those lovely traditions a lot harder. With each hour, tempers fray and loved ones look a little less lovely; as each sun clears the horizon, appetites wither a little more; and with each scalding gust of the wind everyone becomes a little less happy to swop presents graciously.

I don’t know why Krismass must be celebrated on the hottest day of the year, but I have some ideas. Maybe the celebration isn’t all about fun and eating well. Maybe it’s meant to be difficult – like a test of one’s patience and temper. Maybe it’s meant to show us how even the best things can require work. Maybe we’re meant to realise the fundamental similarity of all things under the right conditions. We’ll never know now, but it makes you think, doesn’t it?

3 thoughts on “Krismass”

  1. This is very clever – half science fiction, half philosophy. With each reading, I have picked up more of the science fiction vibes – at first I thought it was just musings on Xmas in SA, then I picked up on the funny spelling of the word and that the writer really did not know the background to the festivities, and last reading I finally got “each sun” which finally made it all click properly.

    But as a result, I have seen this as a contemporary “Xmas in southern hemisphere”, then as a “Xmas in southern hemisphere in far future” and then as “Xmas in far future on another planet”. And they all worked – because the story is about what Xmas is turning into, and the stripping of traditions to their bare bones, and that is very relevant in all scenarios.

    Clever, and deceptively simple. I enjoyed it.


  2. I enjoyed the ideas here and the subtle sci-fi elements that slowly emerge. Especially like the multiple suns and although the re-spelling of Christmas originally annoyed me I came to appreciate it on the second reading.

    Love your third paragraph, it enforces the sci-fi ideas while bringing a great sense of commonality between our xmas experiences and theirs.

    Interesting and thoughtful towards the end if not as pacy.

  3. Quite the timely topic :) Personally, I enjoy your idea of moulding Christmas to suite our own ends. Perhaps that’s what we’re already beginning to do.

    I enjoyed the careful threading of the SF elements through the story. And how it allows you to step back and talk about the holiday free of religious overtones. Very nice.

    The only bit that I wondered about, was the last sentence, and “but it makes you think”. The piece had already made me think, and this bit felt to me a bit too self-conscious. It stood out. But it’s a minor problem.

    Thanks for the piece.

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