Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas doth Approach

Christmas beckons, and I'll be heading the couple of hundred miles to my parents' in two days. There are lots of good things about this, such as free food, free booze, and a chance to catch up with old friends and family members I don't get to see very often. You know what, Christmas doesn't suck. I'd even go so far as to say that it fucking rocks. Here's a quick run-down of how Christmas usually pans out for me.

December 21-23rd

I travel to my parents house. This is the boring bit. When I arrive, we chat and I get drunk with my dad.

Christmas Eve (December 24th)

This is probably familiar to a lot of people in their twenties or thirties whose parents still live in the neighborhood they grew up in. This is when I re-connect with my old school friends (after I've gotten drunk with my dad again during the afternoon). We'll go to the same bars and pubs we did when we were young, get absolutely shit-faced and myself and a particular friend (actually, he's still my best bro) will insufflate some cocaine or munch down some MDMA to get the Christmas cheer extra cheerful. Also, neither of us ever bothered to grow up.
  Last year, I asked an old friend if she wanted to fuck me even though she had just told me she had gotten engaged. She still invited me to the wedding.
  Then, one by one, we'll make our various ways back to wherever we're having Christmas (normally at our respective parents' houses - we're mostly unmarried and childless), although the previously mentioned bro friend and I will often find somewhere else to go and party until the small hours.

OK, that's not really us
While enjoyable, this activity is a confusing one. In the case of most of the people I'll be partying with this Christmas, this will be the only time I've seen them since last Christmas, and I won't see them again until next Christmas. The only reason, it seems, that we're still in contact is so that we all have a reason to get out of our parents' houses on Christmas Eve and get drunk.

Christmas Day (December 25th - duh! -)

My sister only comes over once every two years at best. She was supposed to be coming this year but her and her boyfriend have just bought a house together and are spending it there. I don't have a girlfriend who I've been with long enough to warrant inviting over, so it will just be me, my parents and my Grandma. I did drunkenly invite my ex and her sister over this year (with very transparent intentions, no doubt), but her sister decided against it. I'm forever indebted to her.
We only give six-sided gifts in my family
 I'll normally rise at about 10 or 11 o'clock, and it's round about now that my mother drives to pick up my grandma. It's also about this time that my dad and I will start drinking. My mum, being a sensible and sober woman capable of forethought, will have organized most of the food already for consumption later. When my grandmother arrives, we exchange gifts, give her booze, and shortly afterwards head to the dining table. Food is accompanied by copious amounts of booze, and followed by copious amounts of booze. My Grandma will normally try to say grace, which my mum will normally join in with, while my dad refills his and my drinks. Conversation tends to be jovial and with plenty of swearing, but it can get a little strange, for example when my Grandma suddenly uttered the proclamation: "Homosexuality is an abomination in front of the Lord". It's a liberal household, and this did not go down well.

  Dinner is normally followed by more booze (actually, the flow of alcohol is constant and functions on an "if you wanna drink it, go grab it and give me some" basis), and we'll retire to the living room to play with our presents. This is less exciting since my sister and I grew up. When we're all there, we'll play a board game or, saving that, 'Grandma Buckaroo', a game my sister and I made up some years ago. By five o'clock my Grandma will be drunk and asleep on the couch, and the game involves stacking up as much Christmas detritus on her as possible before she wakes up. It's no fun when my sister isn't there, and we're both in our thirties now so should probably think of retiring this particular tradition.

  At some point in the evening, my mother (the only person vaguely sober by this point) will drive my Grandma home. Sometimes the rest of us will join her for the ride. In the past when I've been in serious relationships, this is the time my girlfriend and I stay behind to have drunken Christmas sex.

Dad, why were you trying to take your sock off?
  My parents will start to wind down. By eleven, my dad is usually passed out drunk on a couch, so this is when I go to the aforementioned friend's place to drink and take drugs. Eventually I make it back and pass out myself.

December 26th 

Testify! No, really, we're going to have to.
Relatives. Mid-afternoon we pick up my Grandma and drive across the city to my uncle's place, filled with cousins, their husbands, their children, and an elderly Welsh lady. We exchange gifts and eat food, I try to comprehend the hyperglycemic ramblings of a six year old, we drink warm beer and and cold red wine, chat, and then, since I hit the big three-zero, I fall asleep on the couch. Then I get woken up to get driven back.   

December 27th

I intend to head back home, but am usually too hungover to do so. I sleep.

December 28th

I head back home and thank the stars that this only happens once a year, even if I do love it.