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'Tis The Season!


ShortOrderCook

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Secret Santa is now well under way and everyone's rocking the Crimbly sigs and avatars and it's less than a month until Santas big birthday, so it's about time we had a Christmas Thread.

 

So, what's everyone up to this year? Actual Christmas Day has always been a bit of a pain in my family, my Mum and Dad have been divorced since i was a baby and since me and my brother hit our teens and my Dad decided he wanted to see us sometimes on Christmas Day rather than just Boxing Day, they've always clashed over it and it's become extremely difficult to please everybody. But then, that's part of Christmas isn't it?

 

Anyway, my brother now lives in Australia and has done for the past 3 years. since he's been gone the actual day has been a bit more of a non-event than usual and even more frustrating with where to be and keep everyone happy. Which is a shame as i love Christmas, but there's no kids or anything with any parts of the family and people i see and they definitely add to it. This year though, my brother is back home for Christmas, for the first time in 3 years, bringing his girlfriend with him who i will be meeting in person for the first time. We are pretty close and have only become closer since he's moved thanks to the wonders of todays technology, so i'm very much looking forward to it and have a fair few things planned.

 

There was yet more hassle on the parents front though. Last Christmas, my Dad got dibs in and announced he was going to contribute some funds to my brother being able to come home, but not let him know until he arrived home, so that he had some extra cash on top of what he'd have saved once he arrived home (he's studying out there and only working part-time on the side and doing 3 weeks in Europe on top of 3 weeks here). Having done that, my Old Man felt he should be entitled to have him at his for Christmas Day. I was fine with this, my Dad has a lovely house that will accomodate everyone nicely and he's big into his cooking and does an awesome Christmas dinner. My Mum wasn't too happy though and i insisted she had to be there too, which he agreed to. She still wasn't happy though. In the last month and half that has all gone to shit though as my Dad and step-mother are now separating with neither refusing to leave the house, so there's a constant terrible atmosphere there and one which wouldn't be great for a welcome home Christmas Day. Worse still, my girlfriends parents are also going through a separation, which wasn't going to be an issue as her Dad was going to be in Australia and i'd let her Mum know she'd be welcome at my Dads. Only then he suddenly wasn't going and we was left having to please them too, which really complicated things as there's a terrible atmosphere when they are together.

 

After discovering we would no longer be at my Dads on Christmas Day and wanting my Mum to be able to relax and have a drink and not worry about cooking, etc i looked to book somewhere for Christmas Day but, by this time it was too late and every decent or reasonably priced place was already booked out. Turns out deep down my Mum wanted to be and have my brother at hers on the day anyway and i've booked somewhere nice for myself, the girlfriend, my brother, his girlfriend, my Mum, my Nan and my Dad to have a Xmas meal on Xmas Eve, which has gone down quite well so seems to have worked out for the best on that front. Will be eating out with the girlfriend and her Mother on Christmas Eve Eve. Will be with the girlfriend Xmas Eve and morning to have my traditional Christmas champagne breakfast of scrambled eggs, steak and champagne and then over to the mothers for Christmas dinner with bro and co as the girlfriend goes to her parents before meeting us again later in the evening.

 

Besides all that, me and the girlfriend have long decided against doing presents on these sort of occasions, preferring to put money towards doing something together like a holiday or big day/night/weekend out. Although we've both agreed to do stockings. I'll be getting my Mum and brother something but that's about it on the serious present front. Except myself, i'll be getting myself a lovely gift or two.

 

Also planned is a day round London and to Harrods some time in December and a couple of days in a log cabin type place with girlfriend, bro and his girlfriend. And a couple of days at a Spa with the Mrs between Xmas and New Year.

 

I've been feeling quite Christmassy already and i'm looking forward to it all really and determined for it to be enjoyable leading into what should be a pretty big year for me in 2013. Off to get a tree on Monday.

 

T'is the season. Officially. The coke advert has been on and everything. What's your Crimbo looking like?

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Ours is looking to be the usual. I proclaim Christmas to be shit until Mad Friday before it, and from there spend lots of time drinking. It normally ends with me staying out until 4am or so on Christmas Eve/Day and getting in shit from my parents, brother and sister when I refuse to get up until 12pm and then hardly manage my dinner. Then, with the Bond film over and me already half cut from topping up the last nights festivities, I decide I can't do with the atmosphere of silent loathing for one another in the house we all have and I'll find my way to the local at about 5pm. Where I'll stay.

 

Not massive on Christmas, to be honest.

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This is the first year where I'll be doing "Rounds" as such. Its also the first time me and the Mrs will have spent it in our own place. We'll start at ours, then go over to her Mum's, then we're heading from Norwich to Wisbech to see my Nan, then back to King's Lynn with my rentals for the rest of the day. We're still looking to squeeze in a three/four day break somewhere in between Xmas and New Year, so I'm looking forward to a retreat somewhere if that takes off. Anyone albe to recommend somewhere cheap and cheerful for a romantic getaway?

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I love Christmas, but LOATHE Christmas day. I spend it with the not so nice side of the family, where we go to my Nan's house to open presents and have dinner. The dinner itself is an abomination. A disgrace to the word 'Food'. It's all Iceland fayre, all cooked for at least an hour over what it should, no one really likes turkey yet that's what we still have every year, everything is cold and just horrible. Unfortunately this side of the family are the type of people to see it as a massive insult to everyone if you don't eat a lot, so I often find myself forcing it down or saying I'm sick. The whole experience of the food and family being derps isn't joyful at all.

I now get through the day by drinking. Problem here though is since I had my massive neurological attack last year, alcohol doesn't do anything to me. I can drink and drink and drink and only ever feel slightly tipsy at best.

Every year I swear to myself I'll come up with a way of getting out of this day. I long for the day that I live in a house big enough to have everyone over for dinner and I'm in charge of the food etc. Last year I tried to take over the dinner but my Grandad wouldn't allow it. I don't know why.

 

I'm determined to try and enjoy Christmas this year, and make Christmas my own up until the day itself. Have friends over for dinners, go out a lot and enjoy the festivities whilst spending time with people I love.

 

Tomorrow I'm going to this Victorian Christmas Fair thing in Portsmouth. It's with the wrong side of the family, but I'm going because they're paying, it will be fun for Dyll and most importantly there will be mulled wine.

 

Oh I also keep the tradition of sneakily pulling out the snapping paper from the crackers on the dining table at Christmas dinner. I've done it for 17 years and everyone is still surprised.

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I'm comfortable for Christmas for once so whatever my son wants, he will get. (Within reason.) The thing is though, is that he hasn't really given me an indication of what he wants and with around four weeks to go, I've barely done any shopping for presents. He doesn't particularly need anything either. He pretty much is the epitome of a spoiled brat.

 

As for Christmas day, I'm unsure. My ex-partner has the legal right to half of Christmas day and no doubt she's going to make it difficult. If that is sorted (Probably won't be.) then it will be just the standard fare of going round to my mothers for dinner itself and visiting family who are close by.

 

It won't be as boring or monotone as I've probably made it look with what I have wrote here.

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Very, very quiet one in the NEWM household this year, as the Mrs may or may not fart a kid out when nobody's looking. He's due to arrive on the 9th Jan but you never know with this sort of thing, so for most of Christmas I'll be sober and we'll both be in the house doing very little. We'll stock up on plenty of food and we're a few seasons behind on The Amazing Race, so that's us pretty much set up. We don't live near either set of parents/family, so some of them might make visits shortly before or after, but it's nice to have a really good excuse to do fuck all this year. I'm actually really looking forward to it.

 

Present-wise, there's going to be bog all changing hands this year too. We had wildly obnoxious plans for 2012 to sell our house, buy a new one, and have a baby, and by some fucking miracle, it's all just about come off. The other side of this of course is the abject poverty we find ourselves in now, and the prospect of a full actual person to fund for the next 21 years (at least) or so who's about to come along. I might wrap a few of her DVDs she forgot she had and see if she realises they're not new, but that's as much a gift to me as it is to her.

 

Oh aye, and I'll get Glitter's song on the iPod at work and people will sing along forgetting his crimes thanks to the fucking stupendous quality of that song. Just as they should.

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I'm not a huge fan of Christmas and Winter can get me down, so I'm fucking off to Paris for a little while.

When I get back I've got a works party the next night and a little later me a mate are off for a night out some where, which is often fun if I don't spoil it.

 

Not long after that I get a big meal on the 25th and then its all quiet until I sit in the pub on new years.

 

Christmas day is just like any shitty Sunday for me, only the dinner is a bit bigger.

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So, what's everyone up to this year? Actual Christmas Day has always been a bit of a pain in my family, my Mum and Dad have been divorced since i was a baby and since me and my brother hit our teens and my Dad decided he wanted to see us sometimes on Christmas Day rather than just Boxing Day, they've always clashed over it and it's become extremely difficult to please everybody. But then, that's part of Christmas isn't it?

Snap. Like Kooks has said above, I love Christmas but can't stand Christmas Day. I always end up letting one side of the family down through no fault of my own. It's difficult enough with my parents being divorced so I try to ensure I see them both equally, but throw in to the mix that I don't speak to my sister and haven't done for about 4 years then that makes things tricky as I need to ensure I go to my Mum and Stepdad's when her and her knobhead fella aren't there. THEN throw in to the equation that my Stepdad's a fireman and usually works either Christmas day or night, it's nigh-on impossible to see everyone for a reasonable amount of time. I used to take turns having dinner at each respective parent's house, but the other factors mess that up so these days I just have two dinners and try to make sure my old man's not on his own for too long, without my Mum thinking she only gets to see me for a short while. It's shit.

 

I wouldn't mind, but in recent years most of mates have shacked up and/or had kids, so they don't come for a pint in the evening so I've not even got that to look forward to. Once that chore of a day is over, though, I love Christmas as it just tends to be nights out with different sets of mates ultimately culminating in a fantastic few days until the let-down of New Year's Eve comes around.

 

To be honest, apart from two years ago when I spent Christmas in New York, one of my favourite Christmas Days was in 2007 when I'd come home from travelling, skint and stayed in on my own. I had a pizza for dinner, sat around in my undies most of the day and didn't see anyone. It was ace at the time, but I'd probably hate it these days.

 

One thing I've never done in all the time I've had my own place is get a Christmas tree. I usually can't be arsed and find a reason not to, but as my flat seems to be base camp most weekends for people then I might make the effort. I also may make more of a conscious effort to do my present-buying before Christmas Eve. I don't really have many people to buy for other than parents and a couple of female friends (just friends! Nothing else, just friends! Who I want to bum) but as much as I laugh it off as being a piece of piss and something I can do in half an hour, it's always the most infuriating, grumpy, want-to-volley-a-kid half an hour of the year.

 

One person I am going to make a massive fuss of is the girl I sit next to in work. Without being melodramatic, she has pretty much kept me sane over the last 7-8 months as she knows about some personal stuff I've been going through and I would be lost without her. Add that to the fact that she and her husband, who I also love to bits, are now going through their third course of IVF so have their own shit to deal with, I really want her (well, them both, really) to understand just how much she's done for me this year.

 

Oh and I always give my hairdresser her year's worth of tips in one go as it's more meaningful than a few quid a month, along with a nice bottle of something. It's always nice to see the look of 'this is the only reason I've not barred you from the shop, you dribbling prick' on her face at this wonderful time of the year.

 

Very, very quiet one in the NEWM household this year, as the Mrs may or may not fart a kid out when nobody's looking. He's due to arrive on the 9th Jan.

Sorry if I missed the announcement of this news earlier in the year, but that's fucking brilliant. Not just the news itself, but that it comes after what you went through not so long ago. Smashing stuff!

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Tomorrow I'm going to this Victorian Christmas Fair thing in Portsmouth. It's with the wrong side of the family, but I'm going because they're paying, it will be fun for Dyll and most importantly there will be mulled wine.

 

I've been there a couple of times. It's alright. There's not really a lot of substance to the Christmas event itself but there's a chance to look around at the other historic stuff in the docks. The last time I went there was a strange adaptation of the tea party from Alice in Wonderland.

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I'm very much the same as Kooks and yourself Frankie in loving the period but hating the actual day for reasons mentioned and the same sort of experiences you two suffer. This year I was massively looking forward to it, knowing the Old Man would go all out in hosting and put on some awesome grub and that everyone in my family I actually give a shit about would be there. I was deeply disapointed those plans had fallen through but have tried my best to better it and make the most of it. The day itself is looking a little lousy again but still much better than the last few years simply because of the better company I will be keeping. I'm gutted my Dad won't be involved on the day but he was chuffed I sorted the Christmas Eve thing and is glad that's happening. Which was nice as its rare to get any sort of positive feedback from him. I'd usually do similar to Butch on Xmas Eve and have a good drink up but the last few years it's been pretty lousy and I've always ended up regretting doing it. Years ago it was always awesome but I'm in a pretty different place to my mates I'd go with these days and there's that definite feeling we're all drifting apart. And considering its highly likely I'll be moving next year that's certainly the case. It's nice to be doing something that feels a bit more meaningful for Christmas Eve and not being a mess come morning. I'll still hit a few traditional Tia Maria and Oranges on the night though even though I won't be with my pals. Christmas in a glass that is.

 

As mentioned, determined to make it a good one. I always see Xmas and January as a time for reflection and looking forward and love the time of the year for those reasons. Having a big 2013 in sight it'd be great to enter it off a nice Christmas. I've had enough of Christmas Day being shit. With my brother now living in Kangaroo Land, I have visions of going to visit him every year or at least every other year in future. His girlfriends parents have a big family and are very much a family family, they seem like the nicest, friendliest most hospital people in the world and they go all out with their house at Christmas. I can imagine its a great place to be for it. Going there every year would take all the nuisance out of it and make it feel special again. To go there you have to go for a decent amount of time and the only time of year I could possibly take up to 3 weeks off without suffering for it would be Christmas. Plus being their summer and the ideal time to see family all tell me it's something I need to make happen.

 

Also like to throw some congratulations at NEWM for making a person. Well done hoss.

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Very,very, excited. I've been planning this for the best part of a year. Both of my kids have got DVDs to play on Christmas Day to reveal to them their Christmas surprise. There will be (happy) tears all round.

 

I'm down to sing in a ton of carol concerts as well, which always makes it ultra Christmassy, and I've got a nativity short film to make as well before Christmas Eve.

 

Finally, I've saved up a load of holiday so I've got two weeks left and then I'm off until into January. If I have a nervous breakdown and/or a heart attack I might get a few extra days off too!!

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