Getting out of the festive spirit

[This would have been my Cross-Pollination post, if it had been alright on the night (sorry Geohde)]

I’m trying to finish writing my Christmas cards tonight. Um. Yeah. That’s going so well. Hi, bloggy world! You are so not my Christmas cards!

One old family friend from Abroad wrote us a ‘that was the year that was’ letter with her card, so I felt compelled to write her a ‘what we have done in 2009’ letter back. That cheered me up no end, as you can imagine. Hospitals! People peering up my lady-parts in hospitals! Crying in hospitals! But let’s not dwell on the bad bits! Naturally, I am finding it extremely hard to dwell on and even remember all the good bits. It can’t have been unmitigated shit from January to December, surely. Surely? Jobs! Promotions! Switzerland! Theatre-visits! See? But lack of joie de vivre is probably spilling forth into my very hand-writing. A Not-To-Gloomy Merry Christmas and May 2010 Not Suck Quite So Bloody Much a Happy New Year!

Anyway, I think my husband and I are staying here in our grubby little flat for Christmas. Just us. In our pyjamas, eating stollen by the hunk. I can’t work out if this is very very wonderful and perfect, or a little sad. Or both! Hey, I can work with both!

The husband has to go into the office between Christmas and New Year (boo!) which was making travelling-to-parents logistics really annoying and stupid (errr…) and anyway, his parents are not really having a big Christmas, or even, so far as I can tell, a small Christmas (and my parents are either Abroad or The Other End Of The Island). Hence logistics-based reasons for staying here (yay!). And it’s also quite important that I am allowed to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special in perfect, reverential silence, with no heckling from persons who think I should be taking the dogs for a walk or entertaining the niece or peeling sprouts. Nevertheless, it feels like cheating, because we spent last Christmas in a hotel, just us two, snogging and bickering and pretending our respective sets of relations lived in Antartica. Replay! Yay! Guilt! Yay!

The world and all its nosy aunts and neighbours promptly cry, you can’t spend Christmas alone! You have to make the effort! Christmas is for families!


We’re disqualified.

And Christmas, from adverts to the special holiday stamps in the post office, from supermarket queues to relentlessly chirpy work-colleagues recounting Little Junior’s First Mince Pie, has a really, really bad habit of rubbing this in.

The thing is, if the Universe had been a tad less of a stone-hearted bitch, we too would be feeding our own Bonny Junior his/her first taste of mince-meat, or, more likely, as my husband hates mince-pies, panettone. We’d be moving heaven and earth and British Rail to take our baby to all her/his grandparents and great-grandparents for an all-in doting festival. I’d be photographed holding my child and looking as beautifully serene as any number of Pre-Raphaelite Madonnas. My husband would be photographed holding his child and just the thought of the pride and love in his face makes me cry. And at dinner, over the candles and crackers, we’d be able to announce the Summer 2010 arrival of a sibling, and there would be such joy and congratulations and everyone would want to know how we’d cope and we’d be asking ourselves the same question and the unavoidable, stark, bloody answer is, better than we are now, without either of them.

There comes a point, where, as an adult, you have to stand up, pull your socks up, tighten your belt, stiffen your resolve, adjust your suspenders, throw your cloak over your shoulder with a majestic swirl, and announce that, actually, you’re going to do as you damn well please from here on in. Stollen in pyjamas infront of the Tardis it is. And this is the right decision.

13 responses to “Getting out of the festive spirit

  • Heather

    You don’t have to travel to be with family – you are with family, you are with H and you two are a family.

    People suck. Staying inside and in jammies sounds DELIC!

  • Ben Warsop

    I wish you didn’t write quite so beautifully, May.

    Christmas sucks. The sweeter it was the more it sucks.

    Here is hoping that your fortune turns with the turn of the year.


  • a

    Currently crushed under the weight of holiday expectations here…struggling to find my way out.

    I hope you enjoy your holidays anyway.

  • geohde

    No apologies needed, this is a great post and I second the expressions that you and H ARE family.



  • Teuchter

    Stollen in front of The Tardis sounds damn fine.


  • Secret D

    It sounds like a good decision to me.

    Your post is so true, things would be so different if we had managed to obtain our dream in 2009. I’m really hoping 2010 is fruitful for all of us but, until then, feel free to do what you want, when you want.

  • twangy

    Sounds like a plan, May.
    I wish you both a delightful and sweet stollen/Tardis time together, far from the madding crowds.

    (Hmm. Must adjust my suspenders, too).

  • korechronicles

    Move over on the couch there, I’m coming to share the stollen. I think the very best thing about Christmas as an adult is that YOU get to choose what to do. There is no law about extended family time, just expectations. Pun totally intended.

    Hoping that you get everything you want for Christmas, this year and next.

  • Melissia

    May, while we are not having stollen in front of the Tardis, Kev thinks that the new 50 inch plasmas screen is really for him for Christmas and that Santa must really love him this year.
    But I had the same thought as you, and won’t David Tennant look really good on the big screen in high definition?
    I only hope that next Christmas finds you too busy to even notice the new doctor.

  • Womb For Improvement

    That is exactly the Christmas we are planning. Except with more minced pies and less stollen.

  • thalia

    Sounds like a good decision to me. What did you think of the waters of mars, btw?

  • Jane

    I wrote a similar post yesterday. We’re staying home alone too, just us and the cats. If we spend the whole day in our jammies eating chocolate and drinking wine, I really don’t care. I’m going to get the new Super Mario Brothers game for the Wii and we can play on it like a pair of kids all day. And it won’t matter what time dinner is on the table, because we will only be feeding ourselves. I’m beginning to look forward to it a little now.

    Have a good one, petal xx

  • Betty M

    I remember back in my gloomier days nearly killing the BIL who declared that the arrival of his first sprog was the moment they became a family with all the clearly implied you two aren’t. Nail in the coffin of our already testy relationship.

    Dr Who and Xmas trats sounds good. Although ugh to stollen – I’m for the marron glacees myself.

%d bloggers like this: