In case it had escaped your attention, Christmas is coming. Everyone has their own variation on the rituals and traditions surrounding Christmas. My family eats beef on Christmas Day, for example, much to people’s consternation – ‘What? No turkey?’ – because when we were kids we basically lived off turkey all year round. Beef’s the real treat.
So I’ve been thinking about all my little rituals, the food and the music and the togethernessy things that I do, in addition to all the general traditions of dinners and carols and family…
Eating a big burger from a fast food chain
In the run up to Christmas, I inevitably end up and now actually like to eat a burger from either MacDonalds or Burger King. It reassures me that I’m not imagining the busy-ness, that it really is so hectic that in order to eat, fast food served in coated paper on a tray, really is the only viable option, if I want to survive.
Watching socio-economic historical drama…
…otherwise known as North and South, largely because of Richard Armitage, and also because the cotton in the mills looks like snow. Nothing really to do with Christmas, and since I’ve been living in London, I like to cite this novel/TV adaptation as evidence that the North/South divide is a cultural one too.
Listening to Ben Folds Five and other non-Christmas themed music
For some reason I associate the song Brick with Christmas. So it has to be listened to. Along with a whole host of other non-Christmas, but vaguely winter-related tunes.
And Frank Sinatra’s Jingle Bells (possibly the cheesiest version ever recorded).
(Have a listen on el Spotify.)
And last but not least
Where you practice eating too much, and get your stomach stretched and ready for the big day. Americans do this on Thanksgiving. I prefer to wait until mid-month. Fake Christmas usually doesn’t involve turkey either (I’m obviously a turkey-free zone in December) but it does involve an absolute pile of veg, friends, gifts, champagne, and lying on the floor afterwards, wishing you’d worn clothes with elasticated waistbands.
The past three years we’ve had lamb, which has led to a whole pile of ‘Behold, the lamb of God’ and ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child’ quips whenever I get my belly out for relief. (Oh the Christmas Bible verse banter!). I’ve had Fake Christmas with many different people, in many different flats, but there’s always the same love. Which I suppose makes it more like real Christmas than a fake one.