‘Tis the Season to be Jolly… and in Debt

Afshan Lodhi

Afshan Lodhi, born in Dubai, is of Indian/Pakistani descent. She writes plays, short fiction and works in publishing and theatre. She has worked with Manchester Lit Festival, Contact, The Royal Exchange Theatre, Eclipse Theatre and one day hopes to take over the world.

Christmas and Debt

It’s the start of December and that means only one thing… Christmas is around the corner. But like always, most of us can’t actually afford it. I myself am not Christian. In fact if you look closely at my bio photo, you’ll see that I’m wearing a headscarf. I’m Muslim, but I love Christmas and I’m not the only one. Christmas has become more about the culture than about religion. Golden lights adorning tube stations across London, stores playing old Christmas classics, mince pies, roasted chestnuts, snow, winter sales, debt, Christmas presents, more debt, Christmas dinners, even more debt. As I sit here, eating another piece of cheap chocolate from my advent calender (yes I’m 20 and still buy advent calenders), I try not to think about the debt. As a student, I’m always in debt and this year being no different from the last few I’m already in my overdraft, but I still want to buy that hideous pair of green and red gloves that can never be worn again after December. I don’t really care about how much I’m going to have pay back when I start earning ‘proper’ money, I just want to enjoy the winter season by curling up in front of a fire, reading a novel and stuffing my face with mince pies. Is that too much to ask?

It sure seems that way. Christmas in London is probably worse than Christmas elsewhere in the UK. The snow only lasts for half a day, the tubes stop working while half of London is trying to get to work, not to mention how expensive everything is. But the sales in London are definitely worth it, even if I can’t afford to shop during them.

I guess this year I may just give out boxes with a note saying ‘I thought the world was going to end so I didn’t buy you a present. Blame the Mayans.’