diamond geezer

 Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Cycle

Adult Christmas: Everyone in the house is an adult. People get up late, open not many presents, listen to some festive music, drink alcohol, cook a big lunch, fall asleep in the afternoon after the Queen's Speech, drink some more alcohol, perhaps get a board game out, slump down in front of the TV for the evening, watch all their favourite programmes, collapse semi-comatose into bed.

Year -1: As above, but the eldest sibling brings their new girl/boyfriend round for their first Christmas "with the family", so everyone's on their very best behaviour. More presents to buy, extra mouth to feed.

Year 0: As above, but the eldest sibling has now married the aforementioned girl/boyfriend. Final year of vague normality.

Year 1: Baby's first Christmas. Aww, everything's cute and special and lovely. Baby gets lots of small gifts that adults excitedly unwrap on its behalf. Some of these are clothes, so Mummy dresses baby up and Daddy takes lots of photos. Baby gurgles in blissful ignorance of everything that's going on, then falls asleep. Adults then revert to enjoying a proper Adult Christmas with booze, telly and nibbles.

Year 2: Location of Christmas festivities has irrevocably shifted, from Old Parents' House (now Grandparents House) to New Parents' House. Child still too young to understand what Christmas is, but this doesn't stop adults from buying all sorts of age-inappropriate presents, which they then play with themselves for the entire day. Booze, telly and nibbles continue.

Years 3-8: Small child (and subsequent younger siblings) incredibly excited about Christmas. Wakes up at stupid o'clock in the morning, demanding to see what Santa has brought. Presents ripped open with greedy glee. By dawn an entire toyshop has appeared on the carpet. Adults reduced to role of spectator, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at radiant smile on child's face. Thankfully child is so tired by early evening that they collapse into bed, leaving adults free to spend the evening with booze, telly and nibbles.

Years 9-14: Children slightly older, but still keen to wake up really early. No longer check to see if Rudolph has eaten the carrots left on the front doorstep overnight. Presents ripped open, then tallied against wishlist to see which of them parents failed to buy this year. Several expensive presents thrown into corner of room by mid-morning, never to be played with again. Booze replaced by soft drinks and sparkling grape juice. Parental TV choice takes second place to non-festive cartoons on digital channel.

Year 15-19: Children all teenagers, so no longer wake up quite so early (parents secretly delighted). Few surprises in amongst the children's presents, most of which were negotiated over the previous months. Eldest sibling surprises parents by eating brussels sprout for the first time. Grandparents sidelined to washing up duties and sleeping on the sofa. TV screen taken over by interactive video game, so adults have to record their chosen programmes to watch later (or not at all).

Years 20-28: Everyone in the house is an adult. People get up late, open not many presents, listen to some festive music, drink alcohol, cook a big lunch, fall asleep in the afternoon after the Queen's Speech, drink some more alcohol, perhaps get a board game out, slump down in front of the TV for the evening, watch all their favourite programmes, collapse semi-comatose into bed.

Year 29: As above, but the eldest sibling brings their new girl/boyfriend round for their first Christmas "with the family", so everyone's on their very best behaviour. More presents to buy, extra mouth to feed.

Year 30: As above, but the eldest sibling has now married the aforementioned girl/boyfriend. Final year of vague normality.

Year 1: Baby's first Christmas... etc etc


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