A time when people get together with people they have generally avoided and feigned only casual interest for the past twelve months, to pretend they are the closest of friends or relatives for an hour or two before it slowly dawns on everyone present why they only have minimal contact throughout the year. Long non sequitur stories with no easily discernable point are the bane of any dinner party. Open hostilities between some of the guests, however can prove highly entertaining for the spectators.
People spends weeks planning the Christmas meal, discussing it with friends and colleagues building the expectations, describing feasts that would make Master Chef judges shudder at the extreme degree of difficulty involved. No-one ever considers their culinary ability when planning Christmas lunch. People, who throughout the year think that adding cheese to mashed potato is the height of home coked fine dining suddenly believe they can make honey glazed leg ham, perfectly seasoned turducen and roast vegetables that simply melt in your mouth. And all of them ready at the same time and on time. In reality, gravy without lumps is considered a Christmas miracle.
Gifts come with a great sense of excitement and enjoyment, despite the fact they are the wrong size or colour or did not come with batteries included. They say the joy of gifts is in the giving, that’s because there is nothing but anguish in the purchasing and often more disappointment than pleasure in the receiving. As a guy, the only thing worse than receiving deodorants or shaving products is a jar of peanuts. Is it possible to put in less thought? Yes…a jar of unsalted peanuts!
Purchasing of gifts might be more pleasurable if not for the carols piped through the p.a. system of every shopping centre and mall, or worse played live by children whose parents believe they are ready for public performance on the trumpet or violin they received as a gift last Christmas.
Christmas decorations, why would anyone buy expensive decorations, they all look like they were purchased from a $2 store anyway. Hours spent setting them up, endless vacuuming all of the bits that are guaranteed to drop or break prior to being packed away. Christmas decorations do create a great school holiday activity, just untangling the lights can take hours. Packing them away is never as fun or rewarding for children – the perfect consequence for them continuously waking you up from afternoon summer naps in front of the cricket.
The best thing about Christmas is Boxing Day, there are no expectations for Boxing Day. Every meal is leftovers, if you actually have meals as opposed to a day of continuous grazing. The Boxing Day Test Match commences, this year it is an Ashes series and Australia has rediscovered its dominant winning ways so definitely worth waking up early enough to roll onto the couch for the first over. Dozing off on the couch is almost a national past time on Boxing Day. If there are children about then it is never too early to teach them about respecting “adult time”. They have new toys to play with, argue over and break, and they can do it quietly in another room, or outside or at a friend's house or anywhere that is not where you are watching cricket.