Ah, Christmas! The “Marmite” of all seasons, you either love it or you spit it out in disgust.
So for all the anti-festive readers out there, here’s how to boycott Christmas in glorious Deaf style!
Step 1 – Open the door to carollers but then point at your hearing aids and slam the door in their faces.
Step 2 – Avoid wearing any festive head gear e.g. Santa hats, reindeer antlers, party hats etc, by complaining about how they interfere with your hearing aids.
Step 3 – Remove all decorations. They are visual distractions that, as a lip reader, you could quite frankly do without!
Step 4 – Sit on Father Christmas’s lap, sign your Christmas list for him and wait for the awkward confusion to unfold.
Step 5 – Make it clear to him that you only want one thing this year, “the ability to hear.”
Step 6 – When he makes his excuses, pull off his beard, stating that you need to lip read him. If he puts it back on, threaten to “do” him for discrimination.
Step 7 – Don’t let anyone watch Raymond Briggs; The Snowman. It’s not subtitled. (there isn’t any dialogue but that’s beside the point!)
Step 8 – Avoid all nativity plays unless STAGETEXT captioning is provided. They always end the same anyway; Jesus is born etc…
Step 9 – At the dinner table, no one is allowed to tell Christmas cracker jokes unless they can sign them fluently. If you can’t laugh, no one can!
Step 10 – Guilt trip an interpreter into working on Christmas day (maybe not that Mandela funeral guy). It’s not like they have lives or anything…
Step 11 – Invite a Deaf friend to a party and win every single round of charades with BSL. It’s not cheating, you said noting, NOTHING! If any one complains, call them a “deafist”.
Step 12 – If anyone asks what the sign for “Happy Christmas” is, respond with an offensive alternative, preferably including at least one swear word.
Step 13 – Make a CD compilation of the most irritating Christmas songs available. Remove your hearing aids then play this for the entire day, at maximum volume and on repeat.
Step 14 – Wait for someone to play “bop it” (an annoying audio based toy), then throw it out the window when it comes to your go. When they ask why… hold up a sign calling them a “Deafist”.
Step 15 – Accept all gifts but provide only one; the valuable life lesson that ‘one should not give to receive’. If they’re still angry, blame the government for cutting your benefits.
And if all else fails, you can always do the ultimate Scrooge-move. Emigrate to a far-flung country where they don’t celebrate Christmas at all. Which is what you want really, you great Deaf Christmas Scrooge.
Teresa Garratty is a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.
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