Saturday, December 25, 2010

Saturday 25 December 2010 – CHRISTMAS DAY


Saturday 25 December 2010 – CHRISTMAS DAY

Merry Christmas.  Today I wake up around 5.30AM.  Frustratingly I am still depressed by the actions and attitude of work.  Is this going to blight my entire Christmas?

A quick check of my email, Facebook and iPhone displays nobody has bothered or attempted to get in touch with festive messages.  Merry Christmas to you too.  What has arrived however is an email from Guardian Soulmates with a timely reminder that on Christmas Day I am still without partner or in a relationship.  You can taste the cynicism and opportunism at work here.

Soon I roll back over to sleep after putting on some episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour on queue in Winamp.  Better times.

Eventually I reawaken around 10.10AM as other people in the building begin make noise as they begin to head off to their own Christmas celebrations.  From here I make baby steps trying to lift myself while still wrestling seasonal depression.

With nothing to offer on TV I eventually get up and begin gathering my presents/gifts with view to wrapping them at a time when most of the country (world) is currently ripping theirs open.  This is how we do.

I actually find the process of wrapping the gifts quite pleasurable.  To assist in the process I put my Songs Of The Sarah Silverman Program CD on it the background and its all fun stuff.  By now midday has passed and I am now racing to get to my parents in time (on time) for lunch.

Lunch is at 1.30PM today which in the end I make with about ten minutes to spare.  Naturally within seconds of arrival the dog is jumping all over me giving me a Christmas greeting.  As ever he can sense that something is up, something is special and different about today and he is tapping into the joy.

Before long we are all sat around the dinner table tucking into mum’s turkey while drinking the traditional Shloer.  This drink has long been a strange tradition with our family that has endured and maintained.

From here the dog proceeds to run around our legs and feet searching/begging for scraps while we stuff on food.  This year I even find myself struggling as we come to the end of dinner.  The turkey stuffing is to die for, all crusty and very peppery with a powerful tang.  This makes the meal for me.  Dessert then comes in the form of Profiteroles.  They’re chocolately and for the win.

On TV is Scrooged which is a movie that improves by the year before mum points out that Christmas Top Of The Pops is on which also as per tradition has to be done.  And then it is the Queen’s Speech.  Bomp!

With the day now well into the afternoon the annual animation arrives in the form of Shrek 3 and thus we begin exchanging and opening our presents.  As ever the dog is the centre of attention as this year for the first time he rips his presents open with excitement and gusto in the style that Snowy used to employ.  The first gift is a rubber cow that snorts and moos.  Unfortunately it lasts less than twenty minutes before Bobby has ripped an air hole in one of its legs meaning that it no longer makes any noise.  Ruined in a day.  From here we all proceed to exchange the rest of our gifts as my efforts this year are soon acknowledged and appreciated.  With dad falling ill earlier in the week he was not able to get mum any gifts so I am glad I over compensated this year as it covers both of us.

In the end the gifts I give go down fairly well.  Mum appears to really like and appreciate her CDs and reacts surprised by the ornament money boxes from John Lewis I got her.  Dad however looks less impressed with his Generation Kill DVD (“its really good”).

Even though mum presents it to me with the words/instruction “don’t get excited” my personal haul is pretty good considering that I pretty much buy anything I want or need immediately these days.  In mum’s mind I like Ricky Gervais so I get his new DVDs (Science and An Idiot Abroad).  Also she knows I love The Simpsons which ordinarily means a deluge of yellow merchandise coming my way but for some reason this year it appears limited to a Homer mug.

For a second year running mum manages to get me a Millwall calendar from somewhere but the real winning surprise arrives in the form of a Snuggie, a knock off Slanket that enables me to be even more lazier than I already am.  A blanket with arms?  The world didn’t need it but it fucking wanted it.  Fucking hell I would have been too ashamed to ask for one of these.  Elsewhere my parents (well, mother) get me a paper shredder and a mobile car battery charger.  These gifts are too sensible.

Before long we are done.  Mum remains vocal in her gratitude and it makes me genuinely happy.

As I say this year the Christmas afternoon movie is Shrek 3, which is OK.  Before long as we begin to flag and start channel surfing we discover that ITV4 is showing the On The Buses trilogy.  Invariably we wind up watching the first movie.  It never stops being funny.  Maybe its because my apparent misogynist side gets to join in and shout “bloody women”.  Maybe its all in the idea of calling them “crumpet”.  Maybe it’s the premise that ugly old men could charm ladies into bed.  Better times.

By the second movie I am already online checking out the sales.  With this I buy the Joy Division seven inch box set from Rhino.  Is this me buying myself a Christmas present?  The thing that I really wanted?

Soon mum is asking us if we want some dinner.  I barely managed lunch and now have been scoffing sweets and shit all afternoon.  This is insanity.

From here I continue flipping through the channels where I happen across Stranger Than Fiction on Channel Five.  This is a painful discovery as it takes me back to my second date with Catherine and how the world felt briefly like an exciting place.  I love this movie so dearly but it pains me so much.  When the scene arrives with Will Ferrell playing “Whole Wide World” by Wreckless Eric it is a double whammy as it also takes me back to my time working on the Stiff Records accounts.  I fear I was far happier back then.

As the movie rolls to a conclusion we arrive at early evening where we find ourselves subjected to the soaps.  Following the Who Killed Mr Burns plot of Eastenders last year, this year it is all about babies and horror.  Faced with such nonsense I don’t actually watch to see if the plot has kicked off, I just don’t care enough.  The swapping babies storyline just makes no sense.

Thankfully The Royle Family eventually arrives and again this year it storms it providing the best Christmas TV on offer.  Ralf Little and Jessica Hynes are back for this episode which ups the standard on last year’s episode with ramshackle and pathetic realism.  Years ago The Royle Family seemed to represent the drab existence and complacency that if we were not careful we might slip into.  Now it feels the norm.  The jokes in this episode are current and to the point reflecting the opinions of most households circa the end of 2010.

After this the new Little Britain programme Come Fly With Me lands and it’s just not very good.  Wooly liberals will no doubt find themselves offended by the stereotypes in the piece but ultimately its all just a bit crap.

Soon after the show ends I rush off home with view to getting back in time to watch Starsky And Hutch from the comfort of my own bed.  Once there it sends me to sleep in seconds.

Merry Christmas.

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