Call me crazy (go on I fucking DARE YOU) but I think there’s enough bitchy irreverence in this world.  There are Scrooge’s all year round, only instead of moaning about the size of mince pies, or whinging that they’ve “never really liked public holidays, they’re always so commercial”, they spend January through November complaining about their chubby girlfriend/boss/how their chubby girlfriend is also their boss.  These are the people who also don’t like their Birthdays.  They say it’s because they don’t like it when people make a big deal of them, and it feels really selfish, but that’s just a load of stocking filler. The reality is they secretly love their Birthdays, but because they don’t want to put pressure on people they play it down each year, instead of screaming “GIVE ME STUFF I WAS ON BORN THIS DAY”. By the way this is all completely unsubstantiated, and totes a mega guestimate from me.

Anyway, I love Christmas. I know that’s really mainstream, and I’m buying into some secret capitalist agenda to make us spend money on crap we don’t need and cut down trees and decorate them in paper mache trinkets, but I love it.  It’s not even the presents, it’s more the fact that when I was a kid I completely believed the LIE, and didn’t stop believing until I was about 14 (yeah, I know).  So it just reminds me of a time when I was innocent, chubby, and my boyfriend’s boss. Plus it’s the food. You’ve got to love the food.  Especially if you’re chubby. And your boyfriend’s boss.

It’s easy to list everything you hate, but I am going to attempt the greatest feat known to (wo)man - being positive and not sounding like a helium-sucking dwarf whose just downed a litre of St John’s Wort.

Christmas Movies
My friend, who shall remain nameless (Ellie), has a really silly rule about when you’re allowed to watch Christmas films. She argues that if you watch them too early you get all bloated and fat on saccharine story lines starring cherubic kids. Next thing you know you’re spewing out tinsel all over your reindeer jumper and wading through sickly sweet feelings of goodwill. I disagree. I think it’s fine to get obese on love, it’s A OK to splurge on sleigh bells and fantasy. Especially when the film you’re overdosing on features Dudley Moore as an elf that is corrupted by his own desires to leave The North Pole, that stifling idyll. You see, when you’re one of Santa’s little toilers, there’s only so far you can take your particular brand of toy workmanship. No matter what dreams you have of designing elaborate warheads for kids, or perhaps a doll baby that is so realistic she vomits stale milk on your shoulder, if the only resources available to you are wood and nails, you’re in trouble.

(I watched this film before I was told there was no Father Christmas, and I remember getting really smug that the writers “hadn’t done their research” because obviously there was proper equipment for making toys in the North Pole.  “How else would they have made my fancy playmobile caravan that runs on batteries?”).

One enterprising elf in Hit Blockbuster Classic ‘The Santa Claus’ made the obvious exodus to New York, AKA The Capital Of Toy Manufacture, AKA Don’t You Remember The Big Piano In ‘Big’?  His journey begins after he has a rather vicious run in with the jelly-tummied guy in red - St. Nick - which looking back now I can see there was a lot more going on there than just toys. If you get me. (Santa’s weight gain durr). What follows is a delightful jaunt in which Moore’s character is corrupted by that tall bald guy from ‘Third Rock From The Sun’, and all these kids get amazing toys, but they’re really badly made. There’s also a charming pre-highschool romance between and tramp boy and a rich girl, which taught me a lot about the ‘Real World’. I won’t spoil the ending because I know you’ll all be rushing to the video store to get your hands on a copy/googling it on megavideo/doing something else, but here’s the trailer, which sadly doesn’t include the dramatic montage of all these kids being really sad that they got crappy presents.  Nightmare!

Christmas Songs
I don’t like songs where the story is spelled out for you. I once had to see this opera for School where the characters sang absolutely everything. During one scene they were all sitting round the table talking about the Cold War, and this guy bellowed, “I have to go to the toilet, where is it?” and then someone else replied, with the third person doing harmony, “it’s down the hall and too the left”. I needed to laugh so bad I had to go to the toilet myself to calm down. Obviously I sang that to my friend which made her wet herself  a little bit, so we had to go home in the interval.

So I don’t like lyrics that are too literal.  That’s why I would pick the track below as my Now That’s What I Call A Christmas Song 2009 Vol. 3289084903890. It’s also got this weird parping synth over it which always makes me imagine there’s an old army sergeant farting melodically somewhere off screen. Now THAT’s festive.

The Food
When I was a kid my dad told me that you can only ingest a certain number of calories, and after that point they stop counting. He wasn’t talking about just going over your daily intake, but pushing it so far that you basically eat so much in one day your body can’t cope any more. So it just sort of squishes the excess out. That’s what he used to tell me and my sister on Christmas Day when we’d all still be up at three am snarfing down a third of the chocolate yule log each.

The best thing about food in the Christmas season is that it’s comprised of so many wonderful areas of deliciousness. Over the period you can feasibly digest smoked salmon, buckets of chocolate variants, cakes, pies, chip butties (boxing day - hello?), roast dinners, alcoholic butter, fruit salad (laaaame), any meats, any roasted veg, and as much alcohol as you like, as log as you place the words “festive” or “yule” in front of said item. Big shout out to the Pret Xmas Sandwich as well. I mean obviously my dad was just trying to make us feel better about basically munching our way through our weight in lard, but his heart was in the right place.

Get fat for January kids, make that grey beginning of the year as dull and depressing as possible.

By the way, we have a quote from actor Mat Horne:

What do you like about Christmas Mat?
Eating cheeses for Jesus.


Social Events
I’ve never been lucky enough to go to a proper Christmas party. You know, the type where Craig (not Gay Craig, ginger Craig), gets really wasted and helps the office loud mouth Claire (not big Claire, human resources Claire) to photocopy her boobs. Then Sam (girl Sam) has to comfort her on the fire exit steps for the rest of the night as she weeps over the realisation that one boob is bigger than the other. I imagine working in an office where you have to wear those weird flared nylon trousers BLACK OR PINSTRIPE ONLY PLEASE, which must surely give you rashes, must be very dull. Especially when you have to pair them with flouncy blouses from Hennes.  However, in a way the duller the better, because it means by the time December 18th comes round, everyone will be ready to go apeshit.

They probably do secret santas as well - can you imagine?!  I also imagine that the luxury of having a party in your grey workplace must be wonderfully surreal, a bit like walking round your old School at night and breaking into the staff room to take the piss out of photos of teachers’ ugly kids. Most of us have to make do with big raves in SUPER COOL warehouses, or house parties with mulled punch that’s basically ethanol, or lame ass family things which turn out to be more fun than any of the others because you have to get wasted in secret and then try and act normal when you’re talking to Aunty Greta about what you’re doing with your life.

I remember when I was a kid I used to read Just Seventeen and Sugar magazines, and the December issue was always my favourite because they’d call it ‘The Party Season’, and give you loads of suggestions of what you could wear to social occasions.  Most of which were long purple velvet dresses if I remember correctly - it was the 90’s.  They’d also give away free white glittery eyeshadow which I’d smudge onto my eyelids and dream of the days when I’d be fourteen and be able to attend charming Christmas parties where some beau who looked like Kevin from Wonder Years would ask me to dance.

TBH I’m still waiting for that to happen, and with each year brings a new opportunity for someone to build a time machine, and out of all the possible opportunities building said time machine would bring them, chooses to send me back to 1994 and some imaginary party that never ever happened ever.

Do you know what I do hate about Christmas though?  NEW FUCKING YEAR.