Friday, December 25, 2009


Friday 25 December 2009 – CHRISTMAS DAY

Today I awaken into Christmas smiling even though I am truly disheartened by the actions of others. Did Santa visit last night? I don’t know I was passed out in my bed too early to notice.

Merry Christmas everyone I wish only but the best for you, with a few exceptions.

After falling asleep early last night unsurprisingly as a result I am awake prematurely early this morning at 3AM to the sound of the Talking Movies year end round up of 2009 where interestingly the guy failed to mention In The Loop even though he did get a shout in for The Room. Go figure. Later after gaining a little more sleep when I eventually resume and enter into Christmas Day properly I find myself being served Mark Kermode’s year end round up also on BBC News. It feels like the pair of them are reporting and recalling different years (Kermode at least mentions In The Loop).

Outside it is not a white Christmas but that was always to be unexpected.

As mentioned above as ever with any day my first action is to flip on the TV (very festive) where I learn that just before midnight mass a crazy woman climbed over the barrier at the Vatican and dragged the Pope down to the floor. With it a mass panic ensued and hopefully she got tasered. Why do people do this? Why do people have to ruin Christmas? I can’t help but feel her actions act as some kind of metaphor for my general experience of Christmas this year. Yes, I am comparing myself to the Pope. What is really striking from this news story is how the crackerjack attempted to do the same thing last year also while wearing the same red hoodie. Surely somebody in security should have clocked that, you’d think.

This is not a day for winners.

Its with the blues that I enter into Christmas Day this year. Off the back of last night today I feel resoundingly betrayed and let down, sadly devoid of the Christmas spirit that Charles Dickens once promised us.

As usual I spend the morning wrapping the presents I have bought for my parents. In the background Beyonce and then Honey I Did Something To The Kids plays out on TV as I realise that I have forgotten to buy the dog a Christmas present. In my muddle I then also proceed to wrap the lid of my flashdrive in one of the gifts (the Sat Nag).

Eventually I head over to the olds for 1.30PM and Christmas Day lunch. There is something delicious about driving on Christmas Day, the roads are next to empty and it almost feels like it should be illegal, that you are breaking the law as some kind of curfew enforced. Christmas Day lunch is more tradition than routine and when I arrive I am a little late but not to a spoiling degree.

In the house all is well as yet another year running the bounding and bouncing dog makes up for shortfall of having a small family.

Dinner is really good as ever. I purposely chose not to have breakfast so that I would be super prepared for lunch. While we eat the dog tries to jump up all of us for scraps of turkey while in the background the Christmas Top Of The Pops opens with Alexandra Burke mooching around. When Beyonce comes on mum sings along at the dinner table in an act that was not expected.

Christmas Top Of The Pops is as much a tradition as anything and later on in the programme Muse and Kasabian humiliate themselves blowing any opportunity at credibility or artist redemption. At the end of the show TOTP does at least play Rage Against The Machine’s video (kind of), it beating X-Factor, despite all this Sony v Sony pap, was an amazing feat this year.

Eventually we get to the Queen’s speech and with each year now she seems to be getting more and more politically correct and more and more boring. Paulie Walnuts might say “what’s the deal with her, when I was young she was old and now I am old she is still old.”

With presents still wrapped and unopened the afternoon movie of The Incredibles arrives on TV and I begin to lounge. At this point my phone appears to be whirring and vibrating and it turns out to be The Girl phoning me to wish me “happy Christmas.” She sounds really happy and I half feel a bit guilty with my subdued response. When she asks me if I got everything I wanted she is shocked to hear that we haven’t opened our presents yet. In the background I hear (I think) her mother comment “that’s what rich people do” to which I happily respond “no, that’s what boring people do” to which she leaves me to unwrap our gifts. The was nice of her to call.

The highlight of the gift giving in recent years has been to give our dogs (Snowy and then Bobby) presents and watch them slowly tear open the parcels as they get excited when the package begins to squeak and they sense excitement held within. It is truly evident that this is a family that needs grandchild. This is a lot of pressure for me to carry at this time.

This year the main present for the dog comes in the form of a waddling chicken (similar to the Nandos variation) that proceeds to follow him around the room as he tries to ignore it. Basically the three of us are looking for Bobby to get angry at the toy and proceed to attack and tear it apart. Is this the Graham family version of dog fighting? Are we trying to rear our little dog to be some kind of bruiser? Unfortunately if that is the intention, it certainly is not the result.

We proceed to pass out, pass over presents to each other, sadly stuff we don’t want and stuff we don’t need. As ever mum puts a ton of effort into buying us gifts to unwrap and it is the greatest gesture that only gets received with humpy reactions from me and the old man. Indeed halfway through opening my presents I give up and just watch the TV instead. Sometimes gratitude within the confines of our family is hard to come by.

When dad opens the comedy Sat Nag that I bought him for a moment it would appear that both he and mum think it is a real Sat Nav. My bad. I’m a bad son.

In the end I get lots of smellies, lots of underwear and a few items mum had desperately teased out of me (The Wrestler DVD, The Damned United DVD, Guitar Hero 5 for Wii).

I wonder if my parents wish we had a larger family as much as I do. Each year with the three of us it feels more and more laboured now, thank god we now have the dog to aim the spotlight at (“entertain us!”).

By now the day is entering into the evening and things really begin to wind down as dozing occurs and we pretend that we really want to be watching Shrek 2 at this time.

Eventually the Christmas Eastenders arrives on TV and with it a ridiculous storyline aiming towards the demise of Archie Mitchell. All through the episode he sets about pissing people off and giving them reason to kill him off. All in all it resembles the “Who Shot Mr Burns?” episode of The Simpsons.

The night ends with further TV and Christmas episodes of Gavin & Stacey and The Royle Family. The former turns out to be very disappointing but the latter is a surprise hit, very mucky and tangible at this time.

I head home around 10PM with dad having already gone to bed. I really don’t want to get into the argument of last year when mum refused to allow me to sleep on the settee. I tell them that I will come around in the morning.

Christmas ends.

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