When I was growing up I often felt a bit removed from my extended family. Both my parents are from Catholic families, which in 40’s/50’s Central Scotland pretty much guaranteed there were fucking loads of them. (I counted how many cousins I had one time years ago, I’m not going to work it out again now but I think there were 35-ish) They almost all lived in and around Glasgow, a full two hours drive from where I lived, so I only really saw them two or three times a year. Two of my aunts (mum’s side) are twins and were born on Boxing Day so we would do a big family Christmas day on the 26th. (somewhere in the region of 12 drunk adults and around 15 excitable children, of which I was the second youngest) If I’m honest they all kind of blur into one party with a few standout moments. There was the mid afternoon gathering in the living room where I’d walk away with a truly ridiculous amount of gifts. The time me and one cousin made a stink bomb. (a ball of toilet roll soaked in shampoo, wrapped in more toilet roll, soaked in bubble bath, wrapped again, soaked in whatever we could get our hands on, maybe bleach? who knows. Anyway, we got busted because we hid it in a little plastic box we found and tucked it behind the toilet while we worked out what to do with it, then we forgot about it because I was 8 and he was 9. Cut to a few hours later we get accosted and taken to separate rooms by our respective mums and it turns out the box was for our Grandad’s false teeth and it was his bed time. I spilled my guts instantly.) And I think the last one I went to when I was 15/16 and I got to got and drink with my cousins friends (I think it was my second time being drunk, I’m sure it was Archer’s and lemonade)
All of this is to say I had some awesome Christmas times when I was young. I still have nice Christmas times now but they’re rarely on actual Christmas day and they don’t match up to the epic excitement of my former years. And I’m good with that. I used to feel a little sad that I’d lost the spirit of it all but a few years ago I spent the day at a family home with some kids hanging around. They were having a grand old time and being very happy and excitable and it made me realise that I don’t really feel like Christmas is for me. I’m not religious and I’m too long in the tooth to get swept up in the sheer festive flare of it all. In fact some years it’s my one day off in a really busy work week so the last thing I want to do is make an effort to do a thing.
Maybe you think that’s really depressing. Or maybe you hate Christmas and being able to treat it like just another day sound like a luxury.
Either way, merry (be-lated) Tuesday.