Words: Ellen Desmond

Issue 4 of Motley was a tough one – it was a tough one to get started and a tough one to put together. Perhaps, part of the reason is because November is the month of the year where everyone is tired and hanging on by a thread until Christmas – or perhaps because famous people and advertisers won’t answer my urgent calls. Most likely, however, it’s because new semesterisation was out to get the editorial team but we got there, eventually.

Yet, even though Christmas seems to be arriving earlier and earlier each year, this issue isn’t very “Christmassy.” We touched on the subject of Christmas a few times, sure, but ultimately it’s about as Christmassy as I am; which is to say, not very. We look at such things as Guantanamo and the crisis between Russia and Ukraine – the world keeps going.

It’s probably obvious that I have several problems with Christmas

It’s probably obvious that I have several problems with Christmas, one of which is that at the time of print the Christmas tree has not yet been placed in the UCC Amphitheatre, which is an outrage because I’ve been waiting to tweet a picture of it for weeks. I’m on the fence about the season of Christmas as a whole, I find the religious aspect of it almost ironic and my Holiday Season emotions (not unlike the quality of content and writing in this issue) are a bit of a rollercoaster.

On the one hand, I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am about Christmas markets, the end of exams and finally being able to listen to Christmas jingles without being judged – but the whole thing does also make me feel a bit sad and sentimental, as well as incredibly guilty.

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones this year and though I now “don’t hate” Christmas, there was a time when I really and truly did. Christmas is a difficult time for many; for the many people who are struggling financially (by the way, everyone is getting a copy of Motley for Christmas from me), to the many who are unwell or who are missing someone. For those reasons and for countless others, many feel entirely removed from the festivities. To be honest, the cheer and celebrations can just seem like a bit of a brag, at times. The cost of the window decorations in Brown Thomas could probably have fed and housed a large family for a month.

But Christmas is, I’ve come to believe, an important time of year. “He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more.”

Take some time out for yourself once exams wrap up, and be considerate of those who seem like a bit of a Grinch because they probably have a good reason to be. At the end of the day, exams are only exams, and there’s a chance for a new beginning at the end of every year. We’ll meet you back here with another fresh issue of Motley on the 12th of January.

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