It’s nearly December, the season of cheese, because who doesn’t love consuming three whole Stiltons whilst internet shopping drunk on sherry. That’s what Christmas means to me my love. I operate a strict embargo of NO CHRISTMAS CHAT until the very end of November, but I’m breaking my own rule this year to share with you some terrible Christmas traditions which seem to be emerging in our house. Starting with:
Somewhere back in the mists of time I had it drilled into me that chocolate advent calendars were for criminals, tabloid readers and other groups of people my mother disapproved of. We only ever got ones with pictures in, which whilst mildly disappointing after day 4 as a child (“oh yay, another ROBIN! When is Jesus coming?”) has been lodged so deeply in my psyche that now I inflict the very same on my children. But just TRY finding one of the buggers. It’s a total Cadbury’s brown-wash out there; chocolate calendars for sale utterly everywhere for about 99p, but the only old-school picture ones to be found cost about the same as my entire christmas budget, and inevitably the shop will only have one left in stock so my two children will tear each other limb from limb to get downstairs first each day to open it. (So there is an upside I suppose)
When I was younger, another odd tradition emerged where I would make an advent calendar for my brother. This isn’t as sweet as it sounds. Each day would contain an idiotic dare he had to complete like carrying a pineapple on his person at all times, or answering any question asked of him with an accompanying salute. I might try to re-establish this, as it definitely made the school day more interesting, and I’m pretty sure he should be due to get fired or at the very least a disciplinary at his latest job soon, having been their favourite employee for way too long now. No-one likes a showoff though do they?
The Tree buying argument
This goes a bit like this: Spend weeks thinking vague, fuzzy nostalgic thoughts about mulled wine, family outings with rosy cheeks, and the smell of freshly cut fir. Decide on a garden centre just close enough so the kids will not cry when they have to sit with a spiky tree up their nose for the duration of the car ride home, but far enough away that you don’t have to ever go there again, for any reason, ever. Because if you’re anything like our family, the wholesome, festive tree-buying day will almost certainly end in wholesome, festive divorce.
I have strong ideas about the shape of my Christmas tree. The colour of the needles. The density of the boughs. My husband, on the other hand, literally could not give a shiny shit about any of this, and his goal seems to be to be very similar to the approach I imagine he takes to buying Christmas gifts too, namely, buy the very first thing you see and then recover in the pub for a few hours.
Our tree buying trips go like this:
*he holds up the first tree: This one?
Him: This one?
Him: *rapid fire* This one? This one? This one? (litter of discarded Christmas trees crashing behind him in his increasingly angry wake)
Him: Make a fucking decision!
Me: I just want to look at these slightly more expensive ones over there as perhaps they are actually burnished with real gold and will look especially middle class twinkling in the light of our log fire?
Him: *death stare*
(five hundred years pass, during which time planet earth has been obliterated by a Trump/Putin induced nuclear winter)
Me: This one’s nice!
Me: Oh wait. No.
Repeat until all children nearby are crying, and then buy the very first one you saw. Do not ever concede that the trip could have been much, much swifter if you weren’t such a huge dickhead.
Getting Christmas Pissed
This is a special time of year, and thus deserves it’s very own type of drunkenness. Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I’m bloody brilliant at getting Christmas Pissed. You are allowed to dress like an eight year old girl whilst getting Christmas Pissed and no-one can judge you for it. I’ve just treated myself to a sparkly velvet and sequin bomber jacket which makes me look a bit like Honey G ate a magical unicorn, but you cannot fail to be happy whilst being the sparkling equivalent of a gin filled mirrorball, so christmas shiny balls to anyone who says otherwise, put on your jazzy clothes and enjoy it.
Things that happen when you’re Christmas Pissed:
You wear head to toe sequins and piss in the street.
You twerk with your colleagues in a transvestite bar until 5am dressed in a thigh high backless gold leather minidress with never a care for whether it is ‘work appropriate’ or not. It is, clearly, not.
There is singing. Bad singing. All the singing.
Someone called Crazy Stu falls asleep in a kebab shop wearing his pants on his head.
You run through the streets of a small mountain town with balloons tied to your pants (I mean, I’m only going from experience here, but pretty sure this is standard fare for everyone at some point or other)
Moving swiftly on…
Only the most idiotic, inept of parents could travel halfway across the country to stay with family for Christmas, pass a pleasant Christmas Eve eating, drinking, and being merry and then, upon the stroke of midnight, realise that they had left EACH AND EVERY ONE of their two year old son’s Christmas presents in a bag. At their house. 200 miles away.
I probably don’t need to spell out that this did actually happen to us, two years ago. Yep. Merry Pissing Christmas. The thing we learned, with hindsight, was NOT to remember it as that time that everyone cried at midnight, we had an enormous row, husband had to drive a 400 mile round trip throughout the night like some demented, drag-racing, very cross Santa and got a £100 speeding ticket at 6am on the empty, christmas morning M1. Rather, we’ve reframed it as the time ‘Lee Saved Christmas!’ He arrived back at approximately two minutes before the children woke up to rush downstairs, which is about as fine as you ever want to cut it.
Don’t. Forget. The. Presents. You. Dickhead.
On the subject of presents, I have learnt to my cost that it doesn’t pay to be subtle. This year I have already dictated to my children a List of Things That Mummy Likes for them to add to their own handwritten lists for Santa; dictated very loudly and very slowly whilst my husband was in the room. Fingers crossed this works. On the off chance he reads this:
Obviously, the entire business would be nice, but I’d settle for a trinket from each. Incidentally, these are also probably on the list of things my mother disapproves of as being too far above my station, but there you go. You can’t have it both ways.
So that’s the bones of what we have to look forward to this month. Along with almost everybody caring what I deem to be slightly too little about my end of December birthday, but that’s a whole other story. Please join me in raising a toast to work-inappropriate, sparkly anti-fashion inspired, pine-tree scented freezing cold December. Bring on the cheese!
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