Dear old Christmas, here you come again. Has it been that long? I’ve missed your sunny face, your air of mystery, your tinsel, baubles, prawns and chilled wine.
The carolling nights will come with candles lighting our merry path, or more likely battery operated fake candlesticks or glow sticks that are supposed to be used for SOS signals out to sea. Our bums will be numbed by the unforgiving frozen ground and the thin picnic rugs as we sing out those unforgettable songs.
What makes Christmas so good is also what makes it B-A-D; Déjà-vu. The Groundhog Day of family life, it reunites us with the phantoms of our childhood days, then adds alcohol, calorific foods, and rollercoaster blood-sugar levels. If your role was “difficult daughter” or “dissapointing son”, no matter that you’re now a yogi, you’ll soon morph into a panto version of yourself, aged twelve-and-three-quarters.
Tomorrow I start some serious Christmas shopping. I can’t wait. I know I will get there and get frustrated with the crowds, the noise, screaming babies and the endless shopping list. But I grab the opportunity to get the ideal (or close to) present for those lucky enough to be on the list.
That being said one should open ALL GIFTS with LOW EXPECTATIONS. It’s hard to be gracious in the face of incomprehensible gifts. I’m talking about gifts in, size XL when you’re an S. The endless pairs of socks poor Dad seems to get. Just keep your responses simple… “A lovely thought.”
Don’t talk through Christmas dinner, just EAT EVERYTHING YOU SEE Christmas lunch is the one time where you shouldn’t talk about what you really get up to. Does anyone really need to know you feel like SH*T because you went out last night and only got in from a party 20 min prior? Make the most of this quiet time by ensuring that you are stuffing your face at all times during the meal. If anyone tries to bring up an uncomfortable subject or asks you what you plan to do with your life, pop an item of food in your mouth and give them an apologetic look, as if to say “Sorry, but it’s rude to speak with your mouth full”.