Christmasnight

Fig.A.

Here’s the thing Housekeepers: you  can keep  your clove  scented oranges and all your fancy festive fripperie. You can whistle for your stilton and port and tell your vintage paper chains to go take a hike. Perhaps, somewhere out there, there is a picture book perfect family enjoying the BrocanteHome Christmas of my dreams but the rest of us are squashed up in our Mum’s living rooms, eating too many Quality Street and arguing over whether the Vicar of Dibley is funny  (the answer, of course, is yes). 

You see on Christmas day none of the silly little frilly nonsense we work ourselves into a frenzy preparing really matters. It actually doesn’t make a jot of difference whether your crackers are from Lidl or Harrods. Whether you turn up for Christmas dinner in your nightie or your ball gown. None of it matters, because after all, Christmas is never, ever without calamity of the unforeseen kind. No matter how many lists you write, you will forget the prawns for the prawn cocktail starter. Your babba will work himself up into such a state over the “mud” (read gravy), that your Mum has poured over his Christmas dinner, that only a bottle of tea and a snuggly blanket will prevent him throwing the goddamn dinner at anyone who dares to laugh at him. Someone will buy you something ugly. The kids will fight. All day long. Your sister will get a teeny bit sozzled in a silly hat and say “Let’s get this party started!” every half hour and your Dad and other random males will find the Playstation bought for the five-year-old so enticing they will spend most of the day in another room…

At seven o’clock despite the lure of carefully selected board games, the entire family will congregate in front of the television to watch Doctor Who.  (See Fig. A.) This procedure will be punctuated by lots of most unfestive “shhhhhh’s” and your Dad will moan and wail and swear he will never ever eat again after your Mum’s wonderful dinner, and then follow up these amateur dramatics by consuming half a ham and a full round of brie. And you? You will feel so exhausted you can’t speak and slope off to your childhood bed followed by cries of “party pooper!”. But you won’t care. You will get into bed in a room you slept in for ten years of your childhood and smile at the wallpaper and laugh when you hear your Dad and sister singing in a stupid fashion…   

You do all of these things, because this, Darlings, is what Christmas is about.  Golden moments to be treasured forever. We don’t have to kill ourselves making it special because it already is. Golden moments wrapped in terrible tinsel, but wonderful all the same.

I’m glad it’s over and I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.