Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Merry Bloody Christmas

Last month I foolishly turned forty. Forty has a level of gravitas previous decades don't have. People in their thirties go clubbing, people in their forties buy Volvo's  Ignoring the fact that I never liked going clubbing and I've recently found myself eyeing up the latest Volvo with an envious eye, I'm still in denial. Why? Because in ten years time I'll be fifty, and that doesn't bear thinking about.

Hence my recent silence on the blog, because in spite of the Wife organising a surprise party and then whisking me off to Edinburgh* I've been lingering in a month long temper tantrum about it. Fortunately my family can always be relied upon to give me the get up and go to hide under the duvet  and cry.

So, just to cheer everyone up, along comes Christmas. This year we swerved the Christingle service as my skills in juggling burning fruit have not improved since I last spoke to you about this ( It was a close run thing though. I took the Kids along to see the church Christmas tree lights switched on which was just before the Christingle service. We stood around in the dark four half an hour, then an old man dressed as a sex offender dressed as Father Christmas turned up in a tractor (obviously), handed out sweets for ten minutes and then switched the lights on. To get an idea of how impressive this was get up and switch on the light in the room you're in. It wasn't that good.

I was quite keen to scarpa at this point, but in a typically-slightly-dodgy move, the local church had an elf on stand-by - with a box of sweets, trying to lure the Kids into the church. Now, I went to church in the seventies and eighties, and I know what a trail of sweets into the church leads to. So the Kids and I had another role reversal, where they insisted we went into the church, and I told them I didn't want to go. For once, I won. By offering them sweets. 

When we got home the Boy raced upstairs and I went and got the jacket potatoes I'd left cooking from the oven. This, as it always does, set off our smoke alarm - which is set off by steam, but not smoke. So as long as our house catches fire during a flood, we're all good. As I went over to wave a tea-towel under it I heard the Boy yell;

"Sorry! That was me! I farted!"

To which I replied;

"If they're strong enough to set off the smoke alarm, you're moving out."

A few days later, the Wife and I went to the Boy's nativity play. I may have been expecting a bit much, but here's my review.

The acting was appalling, the sub-plot was just tacked on (it started with aliens landing in Bethlehem - which I'm pretty sure didn't happen), the chemistry between the characters was non-existent, the music was badly chosen, there was casual violence (when the Virgin Mary placed the baby Jesus into the manger by throwing Him from the other side of the stage) and the set looked like it had been designed by a five year old. I made this last comment as a joke to my Wife, who smiled thinly until the Head Teacher thanked the 50-something art teacher for "building such a wonderful set single handedly" and I felt a bit guilty. Honestly, it looked like an explosion in an aluminium foil factory. 

The Boy did well though. He managed to keep his fingers out of his nose for the whole thing.

The Girl's performance in her nativity play was a great success in comparison to last year, where her only line was "I NEED A WEE!" This year she got to play a shepherd, so the Wife sent her along with a cuddly sheep toy we had lying around the house.

On that, I'm pretty sure we have a cuddly version of every animal that ever walked, crawled or slithered on it's belly. We've got a cuddly velociraptor, for crying out loud. And it's not like we buy them. People just give them to us. There must be something about my family that says; "Crap attractor."

Anyway... The Girl's nativity play was called "Father Christmas needs a wee" and was, as you can guess, massively traditional. The Girl said her line well, then instantly got bored, dropped the sheep on the floor, kicked it a bit, picked it up and then repeatedly beat herself in the head with it for the next five minutes. Then she got a bit distracted, and her teacher had to go to the front of the stage and tell her to bugger off down the back. Fortunately the Virgin Mary took the attention off the Girl by dropping the baby Jesus on the floor and pushing Him into centre stage with her foot. Baby Jesus eventually exited stage left after a fairly decent pass from the Virgin Mary to one of the three Kings. And since no one lost an eye, I thought it was a great success.

Tonight the Wife and Kids decorated the Christmas tree with chocolates - a tradition from her side of the family. My family ate chocolates. But then we also got up, opened all our presents, had crisps for breakfast and did our best not to talk to each other until Christmas dinner. Then the Queen would come on telly, my dad would shout at her and then fall asleep in front of "The Dirty Dozen". So the Wife's traditions are probably preferable.

The Girl did a sterling job of hanging the chocolates, with the small issue that she put all of them on one branch. The Wife tried to point out the error of her ways, but the Girl said;

"I did that so they don't get lonely."

Awwww, you're thinking. How sweet. Except she's put them all on the bottom of the tree - so she can reach them. I tell you, she's a conniving little sod that Girl. 

Since they'd done such a good job I decided to take a picture of them, which I thought was rather lovely until I looked at the Girl and discovered that to spice up the photo she'd put a toy horse in her mouth.

For Christ's sake.

Have a very merry Christmas, people. Love from Me, The Wife, Boy and Girl.