Want to play Scrooge? Don’t have great expectations

7th December 2018 at 00:00

Are you hanging up the stockings on the wall? Waiting for the family to arrive? Hoping that the snow will start to fall? If you’ve answered “yes” to all of the above (and watched Elf on repeat, had your tree up since mid November and eaten approximately 367 mince pies already), look away now.

This week, secondary teacher Sarah Ledger pronounced: “I don’t like Christmas.”

Does she know it’s Christmas time at all? She does. But she isn’t bothered.

She’s had enough of the nativity plays and the endless discussions about decorating your smartboard with tinsel. If you, too, refuse to swap a rich curriculum for a series of seasonal word searches, she wants you to know you’re not alone.

Ledger asks, is it really OK that the languages department plays a recording of the Year 7 choir’s Il Est Né, Le Divin Enfant on a loop every year from 19 November? If so, then it must be OK for “christougenniatikophobics” like her to bang on about their hatred of all things merry.

How can you escape the unbridled joy? Outside school, it’s easier. Mute John Lewis adverts for one. Then avoid all supermarkets and stick to online food shopping until January.

Inside the classroom, you’re trapped by the “doing it for the kids” attitude. But Christmas Jumper Day? Come on, she says, that’s not for the pupils. It’s hard enough to get them to wear a polyester blazer, let alone an itchy jumper with a penguin in a Santa hat on the front.

And then there’s Secret Santa. Opt out and you’re a miserable killjoy; opt in and you’re a hypocrite. The only thing you can do, Ledger says, is to stick rigidly to the £10 limit and schedule yourself an extra lunchtime detention duty while the big reveal takes place.

As Ledger puts it: “I’d wish you the season’s greetings, but you know I don’t mean it.”

As you were, festive fans.

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