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Ch 41: All I want for Christmas is..Boxing Day!

We are one week away from Christmas Eve. It's here, the final week before the fat man and his reindeer embark on one very tiresome journey around the globe delivering Christmas cheer.

Now I'll be honest with you because at Christmas time you tell the truth. So I'll admit that I have a love hate relationship with Christmas.

One moment, I'm Mrs Claus busy baking sugary goodies in the kitchen, Bing Crosby on the wireless, flashing Christmas tree earrings dangling from my earlobes, occasionally guzzling a glass of bubbles.

The next, I'm Ebenezer Scrooge. Well Scrooge McDuck to be exact..you know like Donald Duck's old man, or Uncle I think? Counting pennies, groveling about the latest electricity bill and generally being an unhappy duck with too many people to please, too much to do in so little time and wishing for December 25 to be over...all with a black lump of coal in hand.

How sad. But then I mix up another batch of sangria and within no time I'm belting out Here Comes Santa Clause with Bing and kicking that coal to the curb. Happy as.

So upon reflection of my two festive seasonal personality extremes, here are my best and worst of Christmas festivities.

Obsession with the pre-Christmas catch up.
I've got to see you before Christmas! I must! Yes, it HAS to be before Christmas.

We've all heard and probably said it before, right?

This obsession with seeing every person you have Facebook friended, unfriended, friended again, occupied a work cubical with, played sport against or perhaps shared a house with.

You HAVE to see them between 1 December and 24 December. You must. Because apparently the world ends in January.

But even more importantly, unopened Christmas presents self-destruct at 12.00am on 26 December.

Exterior decorations
If you weren't already aware of the upcoming festive season by the fact that Christmas cards hit the stupidmarkets in October, you have been hiding under Santa's sack. So just in case you missed it, we've taken the liberty of mixing electrical wires, flashing bulbs and plastic Santa lookalikes with bricks and tiles to showcase to the neighbourhood that Christmas is indeed here.

The trick to house Christmas decoration is to humbly outdo your neighbours and to gain as many oohs and ahhs from passing children dressed in their pyjamas doing the neighbourhood round after dark. If your house is really special, you might get a photo in the local paper. Joy.

So if that means stuffing a giant sized inflatable Santa half way down your chimney rocking to the gangnam style tune, choreographed with flashing lights and break dancing reindeers, then do it. It's for the children. And the local paper.

Christmas trees and what we put on them
With the little master crawling around with also with limited space, this year our Christmas tree has been relegated to our spare room at the front of the house. Our tree is an average, plastic 5”0 tall triangle filled with colourful tinsel and Christmas balls. Our Christmas angel on the other hand, is really the centrepiece of our tree. As it should be. Especially when the Christmas angel is a miniature Humphrey B Bear dressed in a while t-shirt with plastic wings and tinsel as a halo.


Oh and there's a Christmas ball hanging from his furry ear. You know, just because he can.

This has been my tradition (abandoned by my four siblings years earlier..shame on all of you) since I was a teenager when our antique Christmas angel's head fell off one year. The only alternative when you have limited access to shops (we lived on a farm out of town) was my beloved bear. I'd say it was quite creative. Don't you? And doesn't he look dashing..

Christmas Eve Mass
Although mass is meant to be a time for peace, harmony and reflection, the moments leading up to the commencement of the 6.00pm Christmas Eve carols is one of panic, angst and competitiveness.

You see, Christmas mass is like getting the good car park early so you can get to Myers with enough time to be at the front of the line in time for the Boxing Day sales.

If you don't get there at least half an hour early, you won't get a park in the church grounds, then you won't get a good seat unless you have a preference for sitting up on the altar with the seatless, hyperactive kids (the only time the Priest ever lets kids sit there is on Christmas). Now a good seat at Christmas mass is towards the back of the church, but not too far back because that can look quite rude if you're there too early, and preferably on the end of the pew.

It's all about the ability to breathe and the quick getaway. So if you don't get there early enough to get the good car park and the subsequent good seat then you risk being in the position of being caught in the swarms of elderly pedestrian traffic upon conclusion. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the see ya later...!

Fruit cake and plum pudding
My dear husband doesn't like Christmas fruit cake or any kind of cake or pudding containing fruit like goodness.
It pulls at my heart strings so much that I can't even talk, or should I say write, about it.

Overconsumption of meat
On a normal day, my lunch tends to consist of a salad sandwich. Pretty simple really. Occasionally I will add ham or chicken and usually finish with some fruit.

Yet on Christmas day we are expected to shovel the following forms of meat into our gobs in record breaking time:

Turkey. Ham. More Ham. Little more turkey please. Chicken. Beef. Lamb. Lamb? Why not. It's Christmas. Chicken. Small slice of Ham. Burps. More turkey to finish off. Oh the pork. We forgot the pork. Can't forget the pork, I made apple sauce. More pork please. On the fork..yes that's enough. Apple sauce.

And then the conversation over the meat comprised dinner table revolves around how Dad has been coping with his latest episode of gout.....need I say more.

Christmas movies
I'm not ashamed to admit that the annual viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is one of the highlights. It's the kind of movie you could watch all year round. In fact, I have, over the years, watched the Griswolds, cousin Eddy and Aunt Bethany when home from school sick, on a Saturday night bored and alone and of course on Christmas Eve, after returning home from mass of course.

Unfortunately my dear husband, at times doesn't quite share the same sense of humour. He does, however, laugh at me giggling continuously at the TV, glass of wine in hand over the following Clark W. Griswold legendary moments:

The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the thspirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath. 

Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.

I'm gonna burn some dust here. Eat my rubber!

Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fu*king Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

To Clark W. Griswold – thank you. So much.

Sad stuff
From Griswold giggles to reality. Life. Sad stuff.

I find Christmas difficult. I think about those who are alone at Christmas. Those who are unwell. Very unwell. Parents who can't afford to give their children presents or Christmas lunch. Those who have lost loved ones. I think of my best friend who I lost suddenly ten years ago. I think about his family and what he would be doing today if he was still with us. I think about my mother. Where is she, is she alone? I hope not. I think about sick kids in hospital and those who are homeless. I think about the pressures Christmas brings and for many this happy festive season is the hardest time of year.

As it is the season of giving, please give to those who are less fortunate. I have and hope you will too.

Childish smiles
This is the little master's first Christmas. Although at 11 months old he really has no idea what is going on, I look forward to seeing his and his cousin's smiles and hearing their squeals of joy on Christmas morning. I look forward to seeing his eyes gaze into Christmas lights, his persistent action of throwing the Santa hat placed on his little head onto the ground, his giggles at our buddy dog dressed up in a Santa suit and the endless array of cuddles from friends and family.

So there it is folks. These are the things I laugh, cry, cringe and burp about in December.

And to reiterate the words of Clark W. Griswold:

We're gonna have the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fu*king Kaye.

Merry Christmas!

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