Forgive me Father Christmas, for I have sinned – it’s been FOREVER between blog posts…
When I started this blog back in June, I enthusiastically told my friend Lea that I’d update it “at least twice a week”. And I did – until we loomed closer to Christmas and life got busier…
I was reminded of just how much I’d lagged behind with my posts when my self-confessed number one (and, let’s face it, probably ONLY) fan, Tina practically begged me to update my blog. “Yeah, yeah…” I told her, noncommittally. A few weeks later, the normally sweet, mild-mannered Tina was not so polite about it: “Dem, update your f***ing blog!” Noted.
Now I’m not saying I hate Christmas, but I’d be lying if I said it was my favourite holiday. And I don’t care what Andy Williams says – it is definitely NOT “the most wonderful time of the year”. (Halloween, you’ll always be my number one.) That Andy guy must have been smoking crack.
Every year it’s the same old story… I refuse to even acknowledge Christmas is happening until December 1, because it’s just “too early”, and then it ends up creeping up on me like a psychopath with a sledgehammer.
There is absolutely nothing enjoyable about fighting crowds and stepping over kids throwing tantrums at the shops while trying to meet a deadline as a taunting soundtrack of soothing Christmas carols plays in the background. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Everywhere you go…” Zip it, Michael Buble. If this is what Christmas looks like, I want a refund.
When you’re a kid, Christmas is the BEST! I remember spending many Christmas Eves with my sister, Patrice, and my best friend, Cathie, our eyes glued to the sky, searching for Santa’s sleigh while our parents got drunk on rum balls. Whenever we’d see a red light, we’d start screaming, “There’s Rudolph!” In hindsight, it was probably just a plane, unless you are under the age of 12, in which case, it was most definitely Rudolph.
But as you get older, reality sets in, and you come to learn just how exhausting Christmas really is. It actually takes a lot of energy to make it “magical”.
It’s not helped by the fact I’ve spent the last 11 years working in magazines, which means Christmas is a non-event. We work right through the holidays, and by the time Christmas rolls around, we’re already working on an issue for January/February. It’s exhausting, and everyone is stressed and overworked. By the time December arrives, just the mention of Christmas is enough to incite a riot in the office (unless you’re Abi, in which case Mariah Carey will be blasting from your computer and Christmas cookies will be thoughtfully left on everyone’s desk – the irony that Abi is Muslim is not lost on me).
Then there’s the things outside of work… As well as having to make time to decorate the Christmas tree, shop for presents and watch Love Actually, I’m at a point now where I have social exhaustion. I don’t even remember the last time I had a night at home, but I suspect it’s been months. I love my friends, I really do, but I have no idea why they all insist we catch up BEFORE Christmas. Is the world ending on December 26? And if so, why hasn’t anyone told me? Seriously, everyone – calm down.
It’s like Christmas carries an invisible deadline. It’s a stark reminder that another year is coming to an end, and of all the things I still didn’t manage to accomplish… For example, I still didn’t take the bicycle I bought myself as a Christmas present four years ago for a ride. I don’t even think the bike has air in its tyres. It has a name (Ruby Tuesday, in case you’re wondering, after the Rolling Stones song and because it’s red), but no air. I still haven’t learnt to play the electric guitar that’s sitting in my closet getting rusty, and most disappointingly of all, I’m still not dating Jake Gyllenhaal. Merry Christmas indeed, you son of a bitch.
Truth be told, I only really start to get excited about Christmas on Christmas morning, when I’m sitting around with my family opening presents. And even then, it’s short-lived.
My family has something of an unofficial Christmas tradition, which generally involves my dad throwing a tantrum (last year it was triggered by me telling him to turn the stereo down after he started blasting Christmas carols at 7am – 7AM!), and it’s all downhill from there… I’ll frantically rush to get ready before my grandparents arrive (they’re always early), and Mum will spend the day stressed at having to run around and upset with my dad for throwing said tantrums. Then my godmother will arrive and she’ll pinch me HARD (it really hurts, you guys), while proceeding to make some comment about my weight or the fact I’m still single as I writhe around in actual physical pain. This will then spur on my grandparents to drill me about my single status, all while I’m hoping I used enough rum in the rum balls to get everyone drunk.
Christmas comes but once a year, thank God… MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE! xx