Thursday, December 04, 2008

Christmas is Boring

I'm not intending to rant endlessly in a 'Bah Humbug' fashion for the entire run up to Christmas, but I do need to get this particular gripe off my chest... Sitting in a festively adorned bar in Mayfair last night, surrounded by rowdy booksellers and publishing people - all enthusiastically exploiting the free bar (nice to know some things never change), I realised with a certain amount of sadness that Christmas just does not excite me any more. The colleague with whom I was chatting at the time agreed that, unless you are a child, or have children in your life, the whole exercise seems depressingly futile.

Naturally, I enjoy getting the extra time off work, doing the seasonal party circuit and spending time with friends and family - but as someone who parties all year round and sees most of my relatives on a regular basis anyway, it's not that special. This year looks set to be the quietest Christmas on record for me; with both my siblings and their offspring being elsewhere it will be just me, Ant and Mum at the familial abode for the day itself. I'm sure we'll have a lovely day, as we always do when we get together, but it won't feel very Christmassy without any littlies running about.

My main problem with the whole set up is that it is the same every year. In all other aspects of life I actively try to keep things as varied and interesting as possible; as I said in my previous post, holidays are all about new experiences and doing something different, so it seems totally incongruous to me to have to sit and perform the same old rituals year after year. But there are traditions to uphold - sprouts (ugh), crackers (woo), the Queen's speech (thanks but no thanks) etc. - and I understand that these mean a lot to some people, so I go along with it. I'd really love to use the holiday time to go on an adventure instead of sitting around in a haze of excess and forced jollity for days on end and am envious of my friend Mat, who has escaped to India this year for the duration. Apparently Christmas is quite big over there, but at least he'll be seeing a new (hopefully sprout free) side to it, and no doubt having a whale of a time in the process (lucky b*****d).

I'm not sure exactly when I got bored of Christmas; I suspect it was a gradual process that happened between me growing up and leaving home, my little sister growing up leaving home and when I stopped working on Pantomime (which leaves you no time to get bored). The last few years have been improved by the presence of my nephew Isaac, whose ecstatic gift-opening expression is enough to put a spark of magic back into even the most jaded of souls. Sadly he'll be spending Christmas with his other grandma this year, so there will be no Lego fire engines to build (unless I buy one for Ant) or new storybooks to read aloud.

I do feel a little bit bad about being such a curmudgeon (especially if any of my nearest and dearest are reading), so I am going to conclude this outpouring on a positive note. One thing that does excite me about this year's shindig is that I shall be doing the cooking for only the second time ever. The previous occasion was under quite stressful circumstances, when mother went and broke both her wrists (I know!) right before Christmas, and I was left holding the fort. I seem to remember a rather disastrous soggy nut roast, though everyone was very kind about it. My culinary skills have come on no end in the eleven years since then, and I am looking forward to letting mum put her feet up while I whizz up one of my fabled nonconformist roasts. You will have to watch this space to find out exactly what this entails (I haven't entirely decided yet), but rest assured, whatever happens, there will be plenty of gravy. And I will never ever get bored of gravy.

1 comment:

  1. More than happy to do the giddy jolly lego opening thing!


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