It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? No actually it’s not. And if you’re no longer ten years old it can be really tiring, stressful and expensive. It’s no coincidence that everyone you see round the shops is rolling their eyes and in a bad mood. Except for that one annoying and overly happy person wearing a Santa hat, tinsel and ‘comedy’ tree shaped glittery, green glasses (you know who you are). But it can’t all be bad, right?
My Top 10 Favourite Things about Christmas
1. TIME OFF WORK
Awfully shallow I know, but genuinely it’s the thing I look forward to most. I don’t hate my job (that much) but it’s the only time of the year that loads of us are off at the same time, with nothing to do for endless days (well, ten days usually). It’s great. It’s super great! It reminds me of the old half terms I used to enjoy as a kid and it’s the closest thing I’ll get to that now. Sigh.
2. CHRISTMAS MUSIC
I felt I had to put this very high because let’s be honest, you can’t get away with listening to Christmas music at any other time of the year. You just look nuts and it feels so wrong (trust me I’ve tried). So I take the opportunity to enjoy all my favourites throughout the month of December, making Spotify playlists and even setting one as my ringtone – usually the Shakin’ Stevens classic Merry Christmas Everyone (because I effing love that song). For my official Top 10, see here.
3. EXCESSIVE FOOD AND DRINK
No brainer. I love food. I love drink. I love excessive food and drink! My top favourites include: cheese (OBVIOUSLY), gherkins, crisps, cold meat sandwiches with horse radish and pretty much anything savoury with short crust pastry.
4. AN EXCUSE AND REASON TO WEAR MY ‘HOME ALONE’ T-SHIRT
I love my Home Alone t-shirt. I’ve never had a Christmas Jumper (get the violins out) but this has been my go-to item each year since I bought it. I suppose I could wear it at other times but I choose not to. For one, I don’t want to look like a desperate, weird Home Alone addict (the truth) and two, it takes the sparkle away when I DO legitimately wear it at Christmas. For a picture, see this past seasonal post.
5. THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
I look forward to watching this so, so, so much. I watch it every Christmas (usually Christmas Eve) and it’s a huge highlight of the festive holiday. Though there’s a few Christmas specials I still enjoy watching (“Gold, Frankenstein and Grr” and “eight priests lost in a lingerie department” also being firm favourites) it’s so hard to beat The Office, which is perfectly written and sentimental without being schmaltzy. The perfect end to the perfect comedy. And so very funny.
Time to mention the true meaning of Christmas – getting loads of presents. And hopefully some money too (the other true meaning of Christmas). It’s also my birthday on the 21st (hilarious I know) so I get even more! HURRAH ME. In all seriousness I do enjoy buying presents for others as well (in fact I’m known as one of the ‘greatest present buyers’ in my family – true story) though I hate wrapping them. I start off with the people I like most, because inevitably they get worse and worse towards the end. As does the pain in my back. Because I’m getting old now.
7. MULLED WINE / CIDER
I suppose this could go under the ‘excessive food and booze’ column but I’ve never drunk mulled wine or cider at any other time than Christmas. Do they even sell it the rest of the year? A highlight last Christmas (I gave you my heart) was me and my grandad finishing off a whole bottle of Jack Daniels ‘Winter Jack’ apple cider. Before 11am.
8. THE FEELING OF EXCITMENT AND KINDNESS IN THE AIR
I’m being truthful. There is generally a nicer atmosphere among us when it’s Christmas. Unless of course it’s the day before Christmas Eve and someone just took the last packet of bacon in Tesco. Because everyone needs that last packet of bacon from Tesco JUST IN CASE. Just in case of what though? You get snowed it? The shops all play a big prank on us and don’t open again until the new year? What the fuck are we gonna do?
Anyway, in all seriousness, we should all be kind at Christmas and whether it’s genuinely a ‘magical’ thing or perhaps just finding comradeship with others whilst battling our way round Tesco (trying to find packets of bacon), it’s so nice to exchange smiles, jokes and pleasantries. It’s also nice to help those less fortunate than yourself and if you can, it’s the perfect time of year to make a charitable donation. Sorry, Bob Geldof sermon over.
9. CHRISTMAS MOVIES
Though you can get away with Christmas movies during the rest of the year anyway (especially with Die Hard being on TV every weekend ever), there is something quite exciting about a Christmas Movie Night and not just because of the excessive food and drink inevitably involved. Just this past week I’ve watched Home Alone (twice), Home Alone 2 and Love Actually. Yes I did wear my t-shirt. And yes I did cry.
10. SNOW (FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES)
I’m almost 32 and I own a car NOT a sledge, plough or those shoes that look like tennis rackets, so I don’t find snow that immensely fun anymore but it must be said, that when you see the first few flakes coming down it is genuinely exciting. Plus I live in the countryside, so it looks very pretty collecting on the grass and trees, seeing the foxes, robins and squirrels scampering around in it. Seriously, I know it sounds like a scene out of Bambi but it’s really like that where I live.
Plus there’s always the hope you’ll get a snow day out of it. And that means no work! Full circle.
Merry Christmas Everyone!