A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Monday, 23 December 2013

Ten Things I Have Learnt About Christmas Over the Years

Our Weihnachtspyramid, bought in Siegen, Germany, 25 years ago. 

1. A glass of sherry with a mince pie before Christmas dinner, and a glass of port with a nub of Stilton afterwards, are marriages made in heaven. But don't overindulge. They are so special, and so richly comforting, that repeat orders always fail to deliver, and leave one too satiated.

2. The guests you would like to stay longer always leave early; but the guests you wish would leave early always stay longer — sometimes for days, or even a week.

3. The majority of gifts you receive mildly disappoint, or even greatly so (but you are too polite, of course, to say anything other than 'How wonderful! It's what I've always wanted!')

4. The majority of gifts you give attract lukewarm thanks, or even hypocritically effusive acclamation. (You think: why don't you appreciate the finer things in life, you ungrateful bastards? I would die for such a gift!)

5. The earlier the you buy the Christmas wine, the more chance there is that there's not bottle left on Christmas Eve, and you have to find an open-all-hours shop to purchase some execrable bottles of red, which will hardly impress the in-laws on Christmas Day.

6. Those most indispensable items — the corkscrew and the nutcracker — mysteriously disappear, only to reappear behind the sofa when the necks of wine bottles and assorted human teeth have been irreparably shattered.

7. The Christmas movies Santa Clause 3, Jingle All The Way and Reindeer Games do not improve from one Christmas to the next.

8. The period from the end of Advent to Epiphany is so long that it seems like the whole of spring, summer and autumn combined.       

9. One's own family seems embarrassingly and uniquely eccentric, until one visits one's friends and sees their own intimate circle at close quarters.

10. Do not complain when the inebriated person who's drawn the straw to cook Christmas dinner forgets to make the bread sauce (ooh, my favourite) and drops gravy onto people's laps while serving. Take it all in good spirits and have another drink.



Dominic Rivron said...

I found this quick guide to opening a bottle without a corkscrew on Youtube. Looks like a recipe for a lacerated hand to me. I imagine a festive trip to casualty and the nurse saying "don't tell me... no corkscrew... searched Youtube..."


Number 7 - re films, what drives me up the wall is the obsession with variations on the story of A Christmas Carol. If only the muppets had remade Nosferatu instead.

Number 9 - absolutely.

Merry Christmas

Bouncing Bertie said...

Merry Christmas Robert.
Some familiar themes there...
Gail (enjoying a muddy Nottinghamshire holiday).

Ruth said...

There is a lemon Stilton that pairs with tawny port especially well. Haven't found it for years.

Merry Christmas, may your best guests stay a long time!

Marit said...

Merry Christmas to you! or GOD JUL!

George said...

Thanks for this wonderful guide through the minefield of the holidays, Robert. I'm already feeling more secure about the holidays. Have a great Christmas and stay true to your guidelines.

Suman said...

That's quite a guidebook, Robert! Loved it.
Merry Christmas to you. May you give and receive the best gifts! ;-)

Grace Bezanson said...

Thanks for the Christmas cheer!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for reading, and commenting, and I hope you are all having a happy Christmas.