It’s that time of year again, when folk start to deck the halls with boughs of holly and drag out the dreaded, hideous monstrosity that is…..tinsel. I cannot abide tinsel; it moults, it smells like it’s been kept in a fusty attic for eleven months (because it has) and no, it doesn’t make anyone over the age of six look like an angel if wrapped around their head. I can’t explain my dislike of the shiny stuff, but when I tell people my feelings, they look at me like I’m the Grinch and assume that because I don’t like tinsel, it therefore follows that I don’t like Christmas either.
Of course, I should probably just keep my tinsel feelings to myself but to thine own self be true I always say. I do truly adore Christmas but I’d be lying if I said it was all candy canes and twinkling lights throughout the whole festive period. Am I on my own with this one or does anyone else have such impure Christmas thoughts….?
Yes, tinsel is shit but there are many other joyous Christmas decorations to behold…and this year Eddy has used the majority of them in one spectacular festive display:
Now, in years gone by this would have induced some sort of obsessive, compulsive fit and I would have spent many, many days subtly rearranging items until I was satisfied with the result (and I know that other friends have admitted to similar behaviour). This year, however, after a long day at the office and whilst under the influence of a particularly virulent strain of man-flu, I caved in to Molly’s request to put the decorations up and let the kids crack on with it. And I’m so glad I did because firstly, they made a much better job of it than I could and secondly, it made me realise that it’s actually quite fun not being an uptight, anally retentive control freak (even if it was just for a couple of hours – normal service has now been resumed).
I have very strong views about Christmas songs and this annoys many people as, unfortunately, I feel compelled to comment on each song every time it is played, and in the run up to Christmas, this can result in quite a lot of repetition both with the song and with my opinions.
Take Paul McCartney for example (no really, please help yourself)….I can think of no other person who looks less like they’re ‘simply having a wonderful Christmas time’ than him, in this shocker of a yuletide song. From his jaunty, burgundy scarf to his Mona Lisa smile and incessant pointing at all and sundry, everything about this song and video makes me want to stick my fingers in my ears and cover my eyes for its duration. And I’m going to be really controversial here and suggest that Noddy Holder makes me inwardly cringe when he hollers ‘IT’S CHRISTMAS!!’ at the end of Slade’s massive hit…..
But for every annoying Christmas song, there are at least twenty absolute belters. I’m not going to list them all here but I would like to give a special mention to Chris Rea’s, ‘Driving home for Christmas’. Over the years it’s really grown on me – mainly because I’ve finally found someone who has a worse sense of direction than me. Surely after nearly thirty years he can find his way home? And if he’s sitting top to toe in tailbacks, perhaps he should have considered setting off slightly earlier? Whatever his reasons for failing to get home, Chris has provided a good few years of entertainment in my office when his song comes on and for that I thank him. Maybe next year, he’ll finally make it back.
I love giving Christmas presents (and I quite like receiving them if it’s not too vulgar to admit) but one thing I have dispensed with in recent years is the annual blood pressure-raising, fruitless hunt for a gift to the value of five pounds for a work colleague who I’ve probably spoken to less than three times in the last year and whose name I tried to put back in the hat when it came to the ceremonial picking out of a ‘Secret Santa’ recipient. Last year Pud received two ‘boob’ hand warmers, nipples and all and a toilet roll festooned with rubbish Christmas jokes, and he’s reciprocated this year with a can of ‘Christmas fun’ that plays up to five festive tunes out of a mini loudspeaker. Call me Scrooge but I rest my case.
I really enjoy seeing pictures of everyone’s Christmas trees and decorations on social media – despite my feelings about tinsel, I love a bit of festive bling. But please, there is no need to caption these pictures with ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’….because after about the eleventh different post saying it, I’m beginning to get a lot confused about what Christmas should actually look like.
At no other time of the year do I even so much as think about mulled spices but come the start of December and I can’t get enough of them! I’m not entirely sure what ‘mulling’ actually is but who cares when you can drink warm, spiced wine, fill the house with the smell of cinnamon candles and stuff your face with huge soft German gingerbread stars?!
I do draw the line at these though…..If I wanted to smell of mulled spices ‘down below’ during the festive period, I’d shove a Christmas pudding up my arse, thank you.
And so, as Tiny Tim said, “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”
(Charles Dickens: ‘A Christmas Carol’)