Tuesday 6 December 2011

The Cult Of The Family Christmas

I'm mostly into Christmas for the wrong reasons. I'm not religious in the slightest, I don't have much goodwill at the best of times, and I'm rendered (merrily) empty-pocketed by the consumer riot of red-cups-and-santa-hats that abound on our local high streets. I love buying presents, I love awful Christmas albums, I love rushing around baking wonky mince pies with an over-inflated sense of my domestic goddessery. It's not what the baby Jesus would have wanted really, is it? I always feel as if I ought to know better.

Thankfully, my favourite bit of Christmas is actually nothing to do with spending money, and everything to do with what Christmas IS actually all about.

Christmas traditions!

Oh you must have some. Those things you and your family/loved ones do every year, without fail. Whether it's going to the pub with your old school mates on Christmas Eve, eating pork pie for breakfast on Christmas morning, playing Monopoly on the afternoon and your Mum always cheating, having cheese with your Christmas cake (the NORTH!)or going round to Aunty Pat's on Boxing Day to eat turkey curry and watch Noel's Christmas Presents.

There is something comforting about these little routines, however standard.

Sam and I have a bit of a thing about establishing as many stupid Christmas traditions as possible before we have a family. We hope to indoctrinate our children with a million quirky rituals that they will end up being teased about when they realise, in horror, that not everybody's Christmas is quite as bizarre as it is in their own household.

Our favourite one so far has been adapted from a traditional French game, where you bake (or otherwise surgically place) a penny into your dessert on Christmas day. Whoever ends up with it becomes the king- or "le Roi". For the rest of the day (the WHOLE DAY) every time the king takes a drink, the rest of the room must chant "Le Roi Qui Boit!" until somebody goes mad.

Quite brilliant, I think you'll agree.

We also wear Santa hats all day, which is quite excellent for diffusing any potential arguments (even better with antlers) as everyone looks far too ridiculous to take seriously.

And we are hoping to come up with more silliness this year, seeing as it's my first Christmas with Sam's family -creators of the "Say Your Favourite Pudding With Your Mouth Full", "Remove Your Sticky Moustache Without Using Your Hands" and "Who Can Eat A Breadstick The Fastest"* games.

What are your Christmas traditions?

*It took  me at least two years to get into the good books of Sam's eldest sister after I dethroned her as reining breadstick eating champion at a Smyth family party. People be warned, if you are the new girlfriend, let the dominant sibling win.

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