Don’t you just love xmas? The decorations, the food, the family, the unwrapping of presents? The hellish experience of going anywhere near a shop; the hours of cooking a bigger dinner than necessary; the leftovers; the icy cold if you’re at northerly latitudes; the tons of xmas emails/texts/tweets/Facebook messages clogging up your account?
I like solstice, I like winter. They’re phenomena that seem worthy of some awe, and they inspire archetypal reactions in me – introspection, self-appraisal and a sense of liminality that encourages action. As a scientist, as a pagan, I can appreciate this time of year, but xmas leaves me cold.
The Animal’s in there making dinner for our family & friends, Mini-MI is playing on the rug in front of the tree, and I’m loitering outside smoking (yes, I know, but I’m going to give up in 2011, ok?) rather than make the “xmas hates my face” speech to them again. Am I being a twat? Yes. Would I rather go back to bed than finish wrapping and tidying and stuff? Absolutely. I am awkward at receiving gifts, and feel socially inept this time of year.
[At this point the Animal appears like an angel of mercy to bring me a hot cup of tea. I literally weep with gratitude, for my fingers are about to freeze and fall off. I realise "angel of mercy" bears connotations of euthanasia and, um, whatever the right term is for murdering the enfeebled, but you know what I mean. He's a darling.]
Yay. Let’s get on with it then. Watching Mini-MI unwrap presents and chew the paper cheers me up. Adz the Russian showing up in his dressing gown to make us all an Elf Yourself video helps too. The Animal, in his new dressing gown, is warm and snuggly. We have three different kinds of meat, several types of cakes and biscuits, a gingerbread house, jelly and cream and key lime pie. Later I shall put Mini-MI in her skeleton suit underneath her Santa robe and make her look like Jack Skellington. Or the Hogfather. As you wish.
Merry Christmas, everyone.