“The entire fucking period is a fucking stain on society!” – that’s how Noel Gallagher described the mid-winter holiday commonly known as Christmas in an alternative festive speech back in 2017. The two-minute interview-come-takedown sees the one-time Oasis guitarist completely destroy any sense that this is “the most wonderful time of the year” and replace it with a bitter slice of expertly-spiced scorn pudding.
At this time of year, as we potter along the frosty streets and gaze into warm-lit shop windows decorated with wreaths, fairy lights, and elaborately decorated evergreen trees, it’s hard not to feel a little wave of festive joy coursing through our veins. Well, not for Noel Gallagher. Describing his feelings about the Christmas period, he said: “I fucking hate it with a passion.” However, he did concede that, when John Lewis put his song ‘Half The World Away’ into their annual festive advert, there was a moment where he considered revising his attitude towards the holiday: “At that particular point I thought ‘Christmas, you know what, I’m going to give Christmas a second chance here’. I gave it a second chance, it was fucking shit”.
For Gallagher, it’s the relentless traditions that have driven him to Scrooge-out over the Christmas period. “Too much food, too much ‘We Are The World’, the jumpers, the TV presenters, the shit adverts, the fucking weather,” he added. Yep, that pretty much describes the classic British Christmas. For three days – starting on the 24th and ending on the 26th – the British people submit themselves to a bizzare ritual in which they attempt to consume as much meat, grease, and alcohol as is humanly possible. Indeed, while drinking booze with breakfast would, at any other time of year, be regarded as a worrying indication of alcoholism, it’s practically celebrated during Christmas. “I’m sure it’s what Jesus would have wanted”, they say as they sink another flute of fizz. “Those little sausages, they’ve got the stupidest name,” Gallagher continued, “What are they called? Chipolatas… That sounds like a circus troupe from the fucking ‘50s.”
Gallagher, like so many parents with young children, also resents the incessant gift-giving, the idea of which sends young children into giddy fits of excitement, only for them to be crushed when they realise that they’re not getting the rediculous present they asked for, like a spider or an African tree frog. “It’s illegal to bring the fucking spiders into the country,” Gallagher rightly points out: “Ask fucking Father Christmas”.
There is one day of the 12 seemingly endless days of Christmas that Gallagher enjoys: “New Year, on the other hand, is an amazing thing. Out with old and in with the new,” he added. I imagine the chance to get out of the house and see some normal people, who you aren’t bound by blood to tolerate, is no small part of this enthusiasm for the last day of the calendar year. At the time of the interview, Gallagher had managed to turn his daughter against Christmas: “She’s on my side now, she hates it,” but his two sons and wife were proving to be harder to sway. “I’ve just got the two lads to go and then we’ll all turn on Sarah [his wife] and get rid of her.” Merry Christmas indeed.