Monday, December 22, 2008

Turn Back Your Christmas Siege Engines

God knows I’ve never encouraged an “open door” ethos at the best of times but there is something about Christmas which makes me want to bolt and triple lock the front door with even more fervour than I do on the other 364 days of the year.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not being curmudgeonly just for the heaven of it – it’s just that there is something about Christmas which makes me want to “shut up shop” socially and just hibernate with my loved ones in the back of the cave... a nice roaring fire on the go, presents around the tree and good food all around. Peace and goodwill to everyone else undoubtedly and very generously... but preferably over there away from me and mine and no I don’t want to come out wassailing or drop in on people for a Christmas drink or (even worse) be dropped in on by guests that I have to crowbar out of the front door several hours later several hundred mince pies the poorer.

Am I being unreasonable? Inhumane? Has the spirit of Christmas turned white at the sight of my soul and fled across the county border in search of a host more warm and receptive?

Possibly. But I believe I am motivated by the best of reasons. A desire to savour my family in a fashion unadulterated by even the most feather light of touches from the outside world.

I mean, I have to deal with the world for every other day of the year and the world has to deal with me. Isn’t a break for us both at Christmas the ideal Christmas gift?

And it’s not like I’m wishing anyone ill. Sure, there are a few people who deserve to have their Christmas puddings laced with semtex and their Christmas stockings lined with poison tipped barbed wire but... not at Christmas, eh? Tis the season to be jolly. Peace and goodwill to all men, etc. Plenty of time in the New Year for pre-emptive strikes.

For now I just want to listen to the sounds of little hands ripping wrapping paper and the “Wows” and cries of “Oh I’ve always wanted this” as my wife opens her new frying pan and matching non-stick oven gloves (only joking, dear) and know that my defensive walls and moat aren’t being misconstrued by the other members of my species with whom I share this wonderful planet.

Cos I love you all. I really do.

And so what can I add but - God bless you all and hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

And please don’t step on the front lawn. It’s mined.

24 comments:

Rol said...

I'm remind of that seminal Christmas hit "What are we gonna get for 'er indoors" by George Cole & Dennis Waterman...

"Christmas - it's a time of good will."

"...it's a time to make your will."

Deirdre said...

I know what you mean.....me and my husband had a terrible row on saturday 'cos we were going out (with dear friends!)and he had his 'can't we just stay in' head on...and like you I spend all day every day assisting the great general public...my special days should be just for me and mine as you say...I have my home, my fridge, my loved ones.....who needs anything else..but do have a happy and healthy yuletime with your family!

Steve said...

Rol: I could be so good for you...

Deirdre: you're a woman after my own heart. I love my fridge too (though am on barely speaking terms with the freezer - but that's the subject for another post). Hope you and your husband have a lovely Christmas too! Thank you for all your comments this year.

You too, Rol!

Brother Tobias said...

I'm with you! Why does everyone have to have their parties at the same time. Day after x$**%!day. Until you ache for a night in; sausage and mash...shepherd's pie...even 'Deal or No Deal'.

Have a very Happy Christmas (and tell Mrs Steve that there's a lot you can do with non-stick oven gloves).

KAZ said...

Don't worry Steve - I won't be calling round.
I wish you, the sprogs and the recipient of the frying pan a very Happy Christmas.

Steve said...

Brother T, I draw the line at Noel Edmonds...! I told Karen what you said re: the gloves and she said she'd like to stick them somewhere non-stick to try them out... hmm. May have to perform a present swap or two before the big day. Hope you and yours have a lovely Christmas Brother T.

Thank you, Kaz, and I'm wishing you a Christmas entirely free of frying pans or indeed any kind of culinary implement that you have to use or wash up yourself.

justme said...

Well I hope you manage to keep the world out and have a wonderful time with your loved ones!

Steve said...

Thank you, Justme - hope you have a wonderful time too! :-)

The Sagittarian said...

I hear you loud and clear, Steve. I'm the same really but my husband (possibly because of his "mediterranean" blood?) has the "the more the merrier" thing going on. I spend my days with loads of people who more than likely I wouldn't bother to pee on if they were on fire, so MY TIME is very precious to me. Still, roll on Christmas day where by 5pm The Stud will be in a coma on the couch leaving me with his "more merrier" crowd of rellies. I love them all too. really. Most of the time. Merry Christmas Steve.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Merry Chirstmas Steve!
Mr. Cheeks gave me a non-stick frying pan for Christmas one year. The next day a mouse went running through the kitchen and of course, he picked up the closest object (my new frying pan) and ran all over the house bashing everything in sight trying to kill it. 'Twas a sad sight after the beating...mangled and twisted...Sometimes I can still hear the hollow gong sound of it when the wind blows just right...
:)

Steve said...

Amanda, if I make it to 3pm before coma kicks in I will consider it a good innings...! Wishing a fab Christmas to you and your family.

Sweet Cheeks, as mangled as the frying pan undoubtedly was I bet the mouse giblets just slid off like butter from a hot knife... God, I love teflon. Have a wonderful Christmas! ;-)

Reluctant Blogger said...

You need to practise your scowl -it's as effective as a moat and I find it works very well for me. I get very few unwelcome visitors here.

But yes, it is quite nice to be all insular at Christmas. I like that too. No visitors at all this year - just us and the presents and the fire and plenty of food and alcohol. It'll be lovely. Any time I feel even slightly grumpy, I remember that last year I had the MIL here - and that this year I do not, and I bounce around like Tigger.

Have a lovely Christmas, Steve. Hope you get lots of lego.

Daisy said...

i really enjoyed this post...i feel much the same and always have...i don't want to go anywhere and i don't want anyone coming round...i just want to be with ones i love and want to share the day with...it's not too much to ask...one thing i especially hate is how people think it is the time to drink because they want to be merry and only end of making an ass of themselves and a mess of my home...i want to sit back...watch "Holiday Inn" and enjoy fred estaire's dancing and bing crosby's singing, as silly as that sounds...drink hot cocoa and eat popcorn and cuddle with my pups...merry christmas to you and yours steve and thank you for a very thought provoking year...you have made things better for me on days i didn't think they could be and have given me chance to think about what is important/special in my life...for that, my friend, i thank you...

Steve said...

Gina, that sounds perfect and I really hope that after the trials of last year you get the Christmas you undoubtedly deserve - a very happy, very merry, very loving one. Best wishes to you and your family.

Thank you, Daisy, for one of the biggest compliments I've ever received. I certainly feel it has been a good year to have met you through the blog world and I wish you and your family a very, very happy Christmas indeed. Your blog has been a real tonic on grey days and has frequently made me laugh on days when laughing was hard. Thank you.

Matthew Rudd said...

I've hated Christmas a little more every year since I was 16, so I'm with you.

Have a good one nonetheless.

kate5kiwis said...

oh steve!!!!!!!!
I LOVE ALL THAT VISITY STUFF!!!
send your visitors to our place.
better still, come over and share one of our mince pies - you'll have to be quick - we've almost eaten all eleventy billion of them already!
hippie happy christmas to you and yours X

Steve said...

Matthew, I was the same until I realized the cure: get a toy. Everyboyd should receive at least one toy for Christmas. Suddenly the magic is back. Hope you have a fantastic Christmas (one that you hate a little less than last year)!

Kate, I'm not a fan of mince pies but if you have any chocolatey stuff I'll be there in a flash! Have a wonderful Christmas!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

oo-er bang goes christmas with Steve & co - I'd better turn the car round and drive back to Oxford!

;-)

Seriously I know how you feel even if I don't have close family of my own to immerse mysef in, but find it's often the case that when I feel at my most jaded and exhausted and least like going out but force myself to go out nevertheless that I have the most unexpectedly wonderful evening, much though christmas parties can get terribly repetitive and I don't like being around drunk people so tend to leave even the best parties slightly early.

Merry Christmas to all in the Blake household anyway.

Old Cheeser said...

A belated Merry Xmas Steve - I can understand the "just wanna be with my nearest and dearest and scr*w (metaphorically speaking) the rest of you" sentiment.

But what intrigues me is precisely WHO you feel deserves to have their Xmas pressies laced with semtex? Ooooogh DO tell!!

Of course this means I will have to cancel the impromptu visit I was planning to Leamington Spa tomorrow then. DAMNIT!!

Steve said...

Thank you, Laura - though, hand on heart, I wouldn't turn you away mince pie-less should you turn up on my doorstep! ;-) Wishing you a very merry, very happy Christmas too!

OC, you'd always be welcome! I hope you and hubby have a fantastic Christmas and a very happy New Year! As for who deserves the semtex... I may have to save that for an email to you after Christmas! ;-)

Tristan said...

Enjoy your Christmas, you curmudgeonly old git! (OK, I admit it, we're operating an isolation policy this Yuletide period).

Steve said...

Bah humbug, Tris (enjoy your Christmas quarantine - and our love to all)!

Inchy said...

Merry Christmas!

Steve said...

To you too, Inchy, to you too!