Christmas comes but once a year. However there’s been a concerted effort to make that one coming last as long as possible. It’s very much the Sting of holidays.
One of my friends has her birthday on 9th September, comfortably just following the end of summer. But every year the Co-op celebrate this day with the addition of mince pies to their shelves. There’s literally an entire season to go before Christmas, so this is a massive “fuck you” to Autumn. The leafy bastard. With the additional insult that any mince pies bought then don’t actually have the shelf life to reach until Christmas itself.
As it’s the 1st of December today, part of me feels lost that I don’t have an advent calender this year. I think I might be getting to old for them. I worry that starting my day on pure chocolate is more likely to make me diabetic than festive. So it’s not for me (he says, quite happily tucking into a pile of Krave so large it takes a step-ladder to start).
In fact last year I had the thought, (only for a second!), but the thought that maybe I could melt the chocolate down and hold a fondue dinner party. I’ve not trusted myself with one since.
Ahh Christmas food. Some of it is healthy, mind. My cranberry consumption increases 1406% each December. And sprouts. I eat some of them too. Begrudgingly. But for the most part it’s not a good season to be a waistband.
The chocolate. The cakes. The mince pies. The addition of cinnamon to ANYTHING. All are vital parts of the Christmas experience.
Then of course there’s Christmas dinner, which is fast becoming less an indulgent meal, and more a farmyard genocide of meats. Will you cook a gammon joint, or beef? Or both? Then the five-bird roast, upping the traditional menage a trois of poultry that is the three bird roast with the addition of goose and guinea fowl.
Normally if tell people you’re giving them sausages as a side for their roast and they’ll look at you like you’re mad, but with the simple addition of bacon they become piggys in blankets and have the magical power to transform and dinner into pure happiness. Pure artery-clogging happiness.
No Christmas meal is complete without crackers. To non-Brits Christmas crackers seem like an odd ritual, but the Christmas cracker remind us of being together as a family. That’s why they’re full of shit, have poor jokes and are likely to snap.
Then there’s the post-meal food coma. That dangerous time where you’re full, sleepy and could drop off at any moment, leading to a reduced sense of control for any sprout-related gaseous expulsions. Or as my dad calls such odours, Frank’s Incense.
Which is weird because his name’s Neil.