Christmas, you were such a good friend to me as a child. All of that build up, all of those carols sung at school, all of that stealthy unwrapping of presents and then re wrapping them so mum wouldn’t know (she knew), eating a whole box of roses chocolates before 8am on Christmas morning while watching Rudolph the red nosed reindeer movie (you know, the stop action one with grumpy skinny Santa), then having to kiss old aunts and being allowed to slurping on lovely trifle and going nuts on sugar with the cousies. As a child, Christmas totally rocked.

As an adult I am equally spoilt. We only have dogs who will be more than happy with a festive rawhide bone for Christmas and obediently stay in bed til after 9am. I have never had to host dinner. Christmases since I was 24 have been either in another country, or I have been able to swan in and swan out of my home town.

For example, here is what I have to do by Xmas:

– procure gifts for parents, fiance, fiance’s family (mostly done);

– wrap these presents if procured physically and not via the interwebs, and post if required (done);

– make a cheesecake for Christmas dessert (not done but test case done);

– try not to be too hungover on Boxing day when we have traditional drinks with the Oirish. (Many test cases done).

See? Easy. But every year it seems stress is heaped on stress, and everyone runs around going OMG CHRISTMAS I am SO stressed out. I accept I am fortunate that I don’t have much to worry about. Chill people.

That said, there have been some stressful / sucky Xmas episodes, including:

  1. Aged 6 or 7, at my grandparents’ house, full of sugar, I jumped off a wall in my cousins’ shoes that were too big for me (no, I don’t know why) and sprained my ankle. My parents took me for an xray after a few days of me whining and it turned out I had broken my foot. Oops.
  2. Aged 19, worked all day in a security call centre from 7am til 3pm and got a measly day in lieu for my labours. Couldn’t even drink properly as working same shift next day. But hey, life of a student in summer break.
  3. Aged 28, living in ROI, popped over to London for xmas with cousie bros. Went to Selfridges in a black cab on Xmas eve. Bond st looking rather magical. Lost 10 quid in poker against cheating cousins, had beef wellington for the first time. Had the worst constipation of entire life.
  4. Aged 31, on way to airport to head back to Chch for Xmas on the 23rd, only to be told upon arrival that chch airport was closed due to earthquake. Ended up flying boxing day via Auckland. Sucky and stressful.

So I am hoping all of you who happen to read this have a non sucky and non stressful Xmas. And if it sucks, remember it’s just one day and who cares.




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