Christmas used to be a loud affair. As a child, I remember it seemed obligatory to wake up really early, usually about five am, dig through your stocking at the end of the bed and open all the wonderful little presents in there, culminating with the inevitable satsuma at the bottom. Then, once this was done, run into your parents bedroom and shout “Wake up, wake up, its Christmas, Santa’s been”. The rest of the day was spent opening presents that had been so carefully wrapped in such a way as not to give away the contents and then playing with all the wonderful toys contained therein, followed, the day after, by visits to whoever was hosting the Boxing Day party that year. As I grew up it turned the other way, being woken by my parents to open presents, still placed under the tree, and finding all kinds of useful items that I actually wanted. Then on to dinner, drinks, visits from relatives, inevitable repeats on telly, culminating in the invariable, never-ending game of Monopoly, which Dad always seemed to win. Boxing Day was visits to grandparents, meeting up with cousins, aunties and uncles not seen often enough through the year, a few beers and good laughs and then home to watch telly and back to normal life until New Year’s. Later in life, (no longer living at home), it seemed to become a booze-fuelled race from Christmas Eve through to New Years Day, the time passing at an ever increasing rate, proportional to the amount of alcohol I consumed, followed by an almost audible ‘thump’ as I hit the wall that was New Years Day. This year, though, as with last year, was different.
Christmas Eve was a flurry of activity on my part, trying to find a particular gift for Tracey which, unfortunately, was getting harder and harder as the day wore on. Finally, admitting defeat, (and ending up with two new dresses and a jumper. Dunno how that happened, honest.), I turned my attentions on making sure the flat was ready for Christmas.
Christmas morning was a quiet affair. Tracey asleep, while I posted messages of Christmas cheer on Facebook, Linkedin and other sites I’m a member of, read through the news of the day, (I’ve always liked to start my day with a newspaper, whether physical or virtual). Then onto dinner. We’d gone for beef this year, so that was prepped and in the oven by lunchtime. Being the lazy bitch that I am, I decided on Aunt Bessie’s roast spuds, just to save time, but there weren’t enough. Obviously somebody was telling me to stop being so indolent and peel some spuds. So I did. (I could have popped round one of the local shops as they were open, but I couldn’t be bothered to walk the twenty yards round there. Hey, it’s Christmas). My mother had already phoned while I’d been in bed so I phoned her back. I actually spoke to my father for a change! First time this year. (He’s never been to keen speaking on the phone). Eventually spoke with mum, thanked her for the cards and money she sent, then on to the rest of dinner.
Dinner tuned out to be pretty successful and very filling. After this we settled down to watch the TV. Unfortunately there was nothing on that we wanted to watch so we ended up going for an X-Files marathon. Not very Christmassy, I know but it was different. Unfortunately though, this idea was hampered by the fact that none of the DVD players we had would work properly! After trying about four different ones, (I know, I know), we managed to get one working. I managed eight episodes before falling asleep.
Boxing day was pretty quiet as well. With the exception of a visit to Tracey’s sister in the evening, we did nothing at all. It was bliss.
I suspect that New Years Eve will be quiet as well. Inside the flat, anyway. Outside will probably be a melee of drunken revellers passing between the two main pubs, one in the town centre and the other round the corner from us. I think I may get my camera out. It could be fun.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE.