Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Christmas: Have yourself a very Marxist Christmas

I never got the chance to meet my Grandad Harry on my Mum's side of the family, which is a shame because while he managed to cause my Mum immeasurable amounts of stress and arguments when she was young, the stories I've heard about him give the impression that he was an absolutely fascinating guy. Grandad Harry was, of course, a raging Marxist. The sort who wouldn't have dinner parties because they were too bourgeois. By all accounts though, he regarded Christmas as the most bourgeois part of Western culture. A story my Mum told me when I was younger involved her Dad only buying Christmas presents for her that could be described as 'functional'. As an eight year old child, she was bought a bedside table and a lamp for Christmas (actually, that may have been two separate years of Christmas presents). This despite the fact that my Mum had made it clear on numerous occasions that all she wanted for Christmas was a West Highland Terrier (damn kids). Stories like this paint an image of your average Marxist as sprouting green fur and talking in rhyme throughout the holidays. The aim of this feature is to provide ways you can stay true to your beliefs, impress your fellow comrades and not piss everyone else off. Christmas Dinner Admittedly, you may have to jettison the idea of having a big fat turkey on your plate at Christmas. Pumping birds full of growth hormones, force feeding them until they become more bloated than Marlon Brando in his later years, then slaughtering them and selling them onto the consumers at a colossal profit so the shareholders can get even more filthy rich probably can't sit comfortably alongside any sort of socialist ideals. Instead, why not try a nut roast? I'm being serious here. I spent nineteen years as a vegetarian and nut roasts are great for Christmas dinner. They're nice and warm, filling but still leaving room for veg, gravy and Christmas pudding after. I'm pretty sure however badly you mistreat nuts they are not able to recognise the fact, which means you can have a guilt-free dinner. Bon appetit comrades. Presents Even if you are repulsed by the concept of gift giving as enforcing the capitalist stranglehold upon both the economy and the individual, you will have to cave in here. Giving up on your principles in this instance is preferable to having to deal with an almighty shitstorm on Christmas Day when you have to tell your loved ones you haven't bought them any presents. However, luckily for you, I am here to help make caving in on your ideals that little bit less awful by helping you find presents that avoid throwing cash at the fat cats. Firstly, for any adults in your life, buy them gifts from independent retailers (clothes, jewellery, that sort of stuff). For teenagers, albums released on independent record labels and purchased from an independent retailer make a fantastic gift. Finally, the tough one - kids. Kids are a fucking nightmare, I have no qualms about saying this because I once was one (both a kid and a fucking nightmare). You just have to be inventive. Make your son a tree house or buy your daughter a second-hand doll's house, or vice-versa if you don't want to enforce gender stereotypes. Entertainment Don't tell your kids they can't watch the TV, especially the Doctor Who Christmas Special. They'll kick up such a stink that you'll cave eventually. Best to bypass the stage where they scream, cry and tell you how much they hate you, and instead go straight to the stage where you sit back and pretend not to enjoy it. Maybe mute the adverts on ITV if you feel like a sell-out about the whole thing. Having a family sing-a-long is a great idea, even if you're a happy family full of consumers who buy each other useless gadgets every year. Let's face it, after a whole day together, you'll be struggling for conversation topics, and this is a great way of avoiding awkward small-talk. Not to mention it's a right laugh when you're drunk after having spent all day steadily working your way through lager, wine, sherry and possibly gin and vodka. So there it is, my guide to a Marxist Christmas. Your kids will probably still hate you for years and wind up rebelling against you in later life by becoming yuppies (or the future equivalent), but at least you taught them some values. Now go and buy overpriced, unnecessary consumer goods you capitalist pigdogs. )

Next article in issue 45

Recession: If it looks like a duck

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." George Orwell, Animal Farm. Like a lugubrious wild boar who slovenly…

More articles