I’ve reached the age and stage at which Christmas sucks, and I’m so sad about it.
My early childhood Christmases were so lovely. The funny part is that they involved all the same people I saw all the time — my parents, siblings, grandparents, great-Aunts and Great Grandma — but somehow, the funny little rituals of the day made it beautiful.
Church first, at the dark old Baptist church that my Dad’s family belonged to. They had a female priest and different hymns to our usual Catholic Church, and lots of old powdery ladies who squeezed us close to their bosoms while squawking about how fast we were growing.
Then back my grandparents’ place, where a festive table was all set up in the “lean-to” out the back. It was a sort of room my granddad built himself out of corrugated iron, rollie smokes and Queensland sweat.
Somehow, I never remember it being hideously hot, but it must have been. I do remember the whole family retiring to the shade at the side of the house in the afternoon to eat watermelon.
My brother, sister and I were the only kids so we were spoiled rotten. It was unreal, and I was always baffled when mum said, “Thank God that’s over” in the car on the way home. (Then everyone died.)
So then I remember Christmases with my husband, when we were young and selfish and never went home to please our mothers.
When we were poor we rented videos, ate cheese toasties and traded op-shop pressies (and had lots of sex). Later, we headed off overseas and spent our Christmases in exotic locations (having lots of sex).