So it’s been a week since Christmas. The presents are open and the family’s gone home. Maybe the tree’s still up and you’re still eating turkey leftovers for lunch. We’re done singing the 12 Days of Christmas, and it’s now time to launch into the 12 Annoyances of Christmas.
By KATE HUNTER.
There’s lots I love about Christmas.
I love the lights – the more ‘Clark Griswaldesque’ the better. I love a party and I love a skinny Santa with a pillow under his Crazy Clark’s costume. I love a car with reindeer antlers and my mother’s friend Sue who wears bauble earrings all December. I like to watch ‘Love Actually’ with my husband on Christmas Eve and I enjoy church the next morning – men with new-shirt creases across their shoulders and kids literally jumping to get out there to ride their new bikes. I remember that feeling so well.
There are, however, elements of Christmas I’m lukewarm about. Not big things like the expectation of family togetherness that rarely happens, or missing people who should be with you. Those are big things that affect every family, and aren’t to be made light of.
I have, however, assembled a list of my Christmas niggles. The little moans and whinges that complete the tapestry of Christmas. My list is by no means complete – you might like to add to it, but this is what pisses me off at Christmas:
1. ‘Oyster’ packed toys. It’s a rare parent in 2012 who hasn’t hacked off part of a digit trying to release a Polly Pocket from her plastic shell using a stanley knife. And why is Barbie cable-tied to that backing board? Did Mattel watch Toy Story and worry it might be a documentary and the toys would run amok after the shops close.
2. Ham. The most overrated of meats. My kids have it in their sandwiches several times a week and wonder why all the cooing when there’s ham on the table on Christmas Day. Then in the omelettes on Boxing Day. And in the vol au vents on New Years Eve. Actually, we don’t have vol au vents on New Years Eve and haven’t done so since 1976 but you get my point about ham.
3. Creative Carol Singers. Call me old fashioned, but I like carols sung in their recognisable form. Organisers of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl carols would do well to note: No one wants a soul sister Mariah Carey style warbling version of ‘I Wish You A Merry Christmas.’ Even if it is Mariah herself.
4. Christmas cracker paper crowns. No one ever, since Christ’s actual birth said, ‘You know, that pic of Mum wearing a paper crown makes her look so pretty. I’ll pop it in a frame’.
5. Turkey. While most people quite likes ham, no one feels that warmly turkey. If it was so great, we’d eat it more than once or year. Pity the poor Americans who have to eat it at Thanksgiving as well as at Christmas.
6. Gift vouchers. Controversial I know, but I would prefer a bad guess at something I’d like rather than a gift that shows no thought whatsoever. As a mother, I don’t like my kids getting vouchers as it means I HAVE TO TAKE THEM SHOPPING at a time I never want to shop again. I think being able to say, ‘Thanks Auntie Gwen. That white bath towel was exactly what I was hoping for!’ with enthusiasm and conviction is a valuable lesson for any six year old.