7 Reasons to Love Christmas Day
1. Children. Christmas isn’t really for grown-ups, it’s about children. For them, the anticipation is incredible and, when the day itself comes, it’s all new and exciting. When the children burst into our bedroom at 6 o’clock this morning and jumped up and down on the bed screaming “It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas!” we were very moved. We don’t know whose children they were, or how they got into our house, but we were moved.
2. Drink. Christmas Day starts with Bucks Fizz and the rest of the day proceeds in an alcoholic-haze. A large proportion of Christmas Day is spent consuming many disparate beverages, but no one gets seriously drunk. They just experience the day in a relaxed alcohol-induced-fug, which is probably just as well, as they’re locked in a house with their in-laws.
3. Presents. I think it’s great that I now have more Argyle-patterned-socks than it would take to outfit a golf-playing millipede. I’m a big fan of the cow-print tie too. Really.
4. Food. Never mind turkey and sprouts and things, it’s the sheer quantity of snack food that makes Christmas Day great. A staggering array of tins and bowls of things are left in the living room for you to gorge yourself on all day. Best of all are the enormous tubs of Twiglets that are available. Like sticks covered in Marmite, they are THE savoury snack. I always try to eat them all before anyone discovers that I’ve opened them, or hide them once they’ve found out that I have. Christmas is about sharing, Twiglets are not.
5. Speech. Traditional, regal, and, best of all, punctual, The Queen’s Christmas Message is delivered at 3pm every Christmas Day, you can set your watch by her. Or, as most people in the UK eat their Christmas dinner at 3pm, your oven timer. The fanfare which precedes the message is like the nation’s dinner gong, precipitating a hurried exit from living rooms across the land. If it weren’t for repeats and highlights on the news, she could say whatever she liked. She could even say whatever Prince Philip liked, nobody would ever know.
6. Crackers. Shop-bought crackers are rubbish. Home-made crackers are amazing. If you make your own then you don’t have to put up with poor jokes, shoddy hats and worthless plastic toys. You can put whatever you like into them – you can even have themed crackers. A couple of years ago I made pirate crackers and we all got eye-patches, bandanas, miniature bottles of rum and pirate-themed jokes. There’s not much that’s more fun than turning your family into pirates and eating Christmas dinner with them. Home made crackers are avast improvement over shop-bought ones.
7. Television. Christmas television is great. There are recent films, one-off dramas, special editions of popular series and Morecambe and Wise Christmas shows. There are classic films too, including that perennial disappointment, The Great Escape. As a child I misheard the title and thought I was going to watch The Greatest Cape. I had imagined that it was a film about a sumptuous and colourful cape, perhaps with magical powers. The premise of my imagined film is still less preposterous than Steve McQueen jumping the fence on a motorbike. Christmas television is great, The Great Escape is not. It should be called The Disappointing Escape.
Merry Christmas to all of our readers.