‘Tis the season to pre-purchase the trusty Cadbury’s advent calendar and nag your housemates that it IS soon enough to get the Christmas decs out (or alternatively raid Wilkos for the requisites). Oh, and to turn Private Mode off when listening to the festive bangers on Spotify.
That’s right, Christmas is so damn soon. There are barely any days left of November. I haven’t even tried a pumpkin spice latte yet alone a frosted snowman mince pie cookie candle hot chocolate yet or whatever they call them this year.
But, I am always excited for Christmas. As a university student constantly being engulfed by the tsunami of assignments, particularly in the run up until term finishes, I anticipate the magic of Christmas just as much as a small child. That could just be because I am looking forward to all the homemade roasts requiring no graft by me, especially as I will never be able to nail crispy roast potatoes like my dad’s.
So, I thought I would crank down on the Christmas build up with my twelve things of the jolly season… And no, these aren’t necessarily my favourite or worst things. Just things.
1) Running to the window on Christmas morning and anticipating snow
Why this is something I’m always compelled to do is mystifying. I just long for a damn white Christmas I guess, ok?! Bing Crosby set the bar too bloody high and now the polar ice caps are melting, and even the polar bears won’t get a white Christmas unless they swim a half-marathon through the warming Arctic waters. At this rate, lads will be getting ‘Arctic 2k33’ tattooed on their ankles after booking a package holiday in the new party destination, with Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents eagerly following them. At this rate I think I’ll only ever experience a white Christmas if I move to the moon.
2) Rating other people’s roasts
Whoever solely or mainly cooks the roast in the household, whatever trimmings are chosen, and whether you opt for turkey or equivalent, nothing will ever compare to the roast you eat. And God forbid why some think it’s a great idea to Snapchat or Instagram their roast. We get it! You have been fed by the lovely elves of Christmas! Fuck off, of course you’re eating a roast; you’re so unpredictable and a loose cannon. It’s even more revolting when the ‘flash’ setting is turned on the camera. Your sprouts look the Grinch’s testicles, whereas mine are perfect, petite green bundles of love.
3) Eating your advent calendar in one sitting
On too many occasions I have come in drunk from a night out and ripped open my advent calendar. To be fair, it was either some £1 chunks of chocolate or unleashing the food specifically reserved for Christmas, like the Guylian chocolates or cranberry Wensleydale. So damn tasty.
4) Faking happiness at the table
I shan’t elaborate on 2016’s detriment to us all. That is unless you’ve just come out of a year’s coma, then for all you know Harambe is well and Lennon finally achieved world peace. The most intense conversations with relatives always seem to happen round the dining table, it seems, whether that concerns relationships, racism, or riffraff. Because one of Santa’s elves dies every time you express your true, sour opinion during Christmas, you instead have to fake your satisfaction and zest for life. It’s hard to keep up, but do you really want to exhaust all your anger out on topical issues when really it could be over Monopoly?
5) Those particular people who just want January 1st to arrive to post their ‘New Year, New Me’ statuses
I can understand how the New Year is a time to rethink your goals and priorities in life, but if you were really set on improving something about you, you don’t need the excuse of your calendar saying ‘January 1st’. Maybe I’m being too cynical. Well in fact, yes I know I am. To put a positive spin on New Year’s Day, I will probably spend the day hungover in bed, scrolling through my newsfeed and deleting anybody who posts about changing themselves. Or I’ll make my resolution to be supportive of all the strangers I have as friends on Facebook. We’ll see how bad my hangover will be.
6) The uncertainty of Christmas presents
There was nothing I actually wanted for Christmas this year. Albeit money to fund my trip to New York in January. There are, however, a multitude of things that I don’t want for Christmas. I still don’t particularly want Brexit to be a thing, or how xenophobic a substantial proportion of the population have become. But how do I express these wishes on my Christmas list to Lapland? Maybe I’ll ask Santa to stop sh*tty people do even sh*ttier things, but then again, Santa is a very, very old man who may have different conceptions of equality and fairness to me.
7) So. Much. Alcohol.
Freud contended that the superego and id are in battle with one another; the great war between the pleasure principle and your conscience. Much can be said too about the cosy, ‘hygge’ side to you, and the sesh-fuelled part of you. As a child, I would wake up at 7:00am to watch various movies on TV, and to see whether Santa had arrived (Santa didn’t come until about 10:00am, which I realise now was due to my parents’ hangovers). But becoming a teenager I would have a lie-in and express apathy towards anything that even slightly resembled tinsel. But now, being 21, I seem to get rather jolly on the wine, beer and Bailey’s on Christmas Eve, which of course is the gassiest concoction there is. And parents just seem to go mad for the bottles at this time of year. So, it’d be rude not to help finish them. Come around 8:00am on Christmas morning, I am pretty buzzing for the day ahead like a kid again, but this may be because I’m still tipsy. Then BAM, 10:00am and I’m feliz navidead with my head in the toilet bowl. That doesn’t stop me from having a Bucks Fizz with brunch, however.
8) The cheese board
I genuinely would struggle living the life I do if I had a lactose intolerance. Milk is my life, which would also make being vegan particularly troublesome. Yet, I choose the lifestyle that embraces dairy goods, particularly cheese. And nothing says Christmas like a variety selection of cheese as well as Jacobs Crackers.
9) When prehistoric decorations emerge
Whether it’s already happened or you wait until Christmas Eve like some sort of Grinch, the annual decoration amnesty is bound to happen. You can even pretend to be Santa himself with his sack of presents as you come up from the cellar with binbags of questionable decorations, and maybe a plastic tree. In previous year, we had an aesthetic tree in the dining room, and a ‘dog’s dinner tree’ (as my mum named it) upstairs, which showcased all the Winnie the Pooh characters in Christmas outfits and all those random baubles we seem to have accumulated as presents from random family friends and relatives. I don’t know why this is a thing.
10) The post-roast stew
Is it even Christmas if you have a turkey that could quite literally Feed the World yet ends up feeding your family for consecutive nights? Whether it’s in bubble and squeak, a pie, a soup, or a traditional festive curry, it’s the least we can do for Band Aid.
11) Attempting to make your pets get involved with the festivities
If you have a pet, it’s imperative to force your Scrooge-like cat to wear reindeer antlers, or put a miniature Santa hat on your guinea pig. Then there’s dogs who will have probably already picked out their Christmas style this season, being the flamboyant beasts they are.
12) Finally, the TV
Nothing says Christmas like gathering the family around the fire with mulled wine and Christmas pudding to watch a festive-themed gameshow. Some households probably recite extracts from the Bible on the holy day which is clearly understandable. Yet, many of us worship alcohol and the media, being the greedy, 21st century b*stards we are.
As blasphemous as we may have become during the Christmas season, it will always be my favourite time of year.