Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow you will want to strangle the relatives


Do relatives take priority over anyone else at Christmas? Don't misunderstand me, I adore every branch, root and twig of my family. However I also love my dogs, a couple of classic cars, a Lalique mask, a nicely worn leather jacket, a teddy bear and some very dear friends. Yes all in different ways but it seems at Christmas family is often to the exclusion of all else. Now as a kid I used to find it fairly amusing to meet up with Uncle Tuppy (yup, swear that was his name), Great Aunt Alice, Aunty Sheila and others who now are long gone and no doubt pulling crackers and swilling port in heaven. However as we really only came together once a year the novelty value soon wore off and I thought they were all bonkers and I am sure they felt I was some snot nosed brat (none of the aforementioned had kids). A brief lunch maybe but to stay manacled together for three or four days is a recipe for Lizzie Borden-like hungering for an axe! Distant relatives are like fish. After three days they go off. Christmas is a time of good will towards all men but to achieve that maybe put a time limit on each person? My American cousins are lucky as they have a Christmas doppelgänger a month earlier in Thanksgiving. That is the big family get together, always on a Thursday (see why Click Here). They get that out of the way and have the choice at Christmas to go away, be with friends or again link up the family tree.

...and another thing

To give is never the problem, it’s hiding my reaction when given something toe-curlingly awful that is a real test. The clichĂ© of ‘it’s the thought that counts’ doesn’t cut it with me. What thought is behind a tummy navel brush, a 20lb Gummi Bear, a Crocs pair of sandals and matching phone case or a shower gel dispenser in the shape of a nose? Take a walk in those deepest thoughts and you won’t get your ankles wet.

And yet we are all guilty of giving as well as receiving useless presents. We see something we think is funny for thirty seconds and then expect someone else to live with it for a lifetime. Hands up who still has a Singing Billy Bass stuffed in a cupboard somewhere along with a Pet Rock and a Rubik’s cube. God forbid you ever get burgled but unless you keep those things in a safe or wrapped up in the family silver they ain’t going nowhere unless you bin them……even if you feel you should keep it as your dipsomaniac Aunt gave it  to you. Remember she spent three days hoovering up the entire content of your drinks cabinet and that was on top of the Chia Pet of President Obama that you gave her.

As you sit down with a weird group of people that just happened to be related but with whom you have little else in common remember….

You can pick your friends, pick your spots even pick your nose but you cannot pick your relatives.


Happy Christmas to all.

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