I’m not a big fan of Christmas. I think if you ask anyone who worked in a retail store for a number of years during Christmas they’d say something quite similar. Many people think Christmas is a great time for retailers but most retailers despise it. With a passion.
And my Christmas is made even more fun by the lack of enthusiasm in general by my Mother, my Father and The Other Half. All of whom are working in retail, and who get two days off from the extended Christmas shopping hours chaos before diving back into the extended shopping hours chaos that is after Christmas sales which leaves them all cranky – and makes me cranky by extension. They’re lucky to get two days off – most people in retail get Christmas Day only.
If we’d been in Adelaide, we’d have gone to my Uncle’s place for Christmas. He truly gets into the spirit of the day. I believe my Uncle may be one of the first metrosexuals of his generation. That is saying something because he is over 60. He was once a hairdresser, and then he was a chef. He is the most amazing cook but you never get boring and expected from my Uncle.
Christmas Lunch has been many things during the years I have been going to his place for Christmas – curries, Nasi Goreng, fiery casseroles, generally scary food which makes you fear for your bowels. You rarely see any kind of roast. If there is seafood it will be unusually presented – never your prawn cocktail with thousand island dressing, you’d get a prawn and mango salad with an amazing unpronounceable dressing that tasted like nothing you ever imagined possible.
There would always be a tree, the table would be beautifully set in a style to shame Martha Whatshername, Christmas Crackers on the table, the works. Sometimes there would be a surprise visit from Santa (my Uncle in a santa suit) for the young kids. There would always be a present for everyone and spare presents because they never knew who might come to Christmas Day as a surprise.
Carols by the old time greats like Dean Martin and Bing Crosby – and as the day goes on some of the more scary Christmas CD’s in my Uncle’s collection would find their way to the CD player. If I felt like I would like to break that Mariah Carey one in half, it was a sign to look for more alcohol. That was ok because I never drove there and there was always a designated driver to drive us home. Lots of people, many of whom I barely knew and only ever saw on Christmas Day. Happiness overall because nobody argues in our family these days.
As The Years Went By –
When my parents moved we got into the habit of travelling to see them at Christmas. So much so that now I don’t feel like it is Christmas because we haven’t packed up the car, put the cats in to boarding, and traveled 1600kms across the country. Christmas would be celebrated more because we had driven so far, and my nephews were usually there.
I feel homesick for some sign of Christmas. I miss the extended family gatherings. It is a time of year I could happily skip entirely. And there’s my whinge. Now I’ll build the bridge, because it is mostly over.