BACK in the day you played with Lego, ate leftover turkey and watched Where Eagles Dare. But Christmas has changed irrevocably, and here’s what you do now:
Spend the day texting
From 8am onwards, your phone’s bleeping constantly like a Guantanamo Bay psychological warfare op. Spend the bulk of the day replying to near-identical texts from relatives saying ‘Mery Xmas luv Pam & Gra’. They’ll all include a fir tree emoji, as if that suddenly makes them enormous fun.
Feign sadness during Zoom chats
Such a shame you can only see your in-laws, aunts and uncles and weird cousins by Zoom, when you used to not be able to see them at all. It’s better than driving to their funny-smelling house for inane and confusingly prejudiced chat, but it’s stil 45 awkward minutes of your Christmas.
Strange American nonsense
Candy canes used to be unknown in Britain, but now you can’t avoid the light-up garden ornaments. Coca-Cola has tried to make a bloody lorry a Christmas tradition, of course. And there’s the Elf on the Shelf, a time-consuming little bastard and a supernatural all-seeing eye like Sauron.
Tedious last-minute phone admin
Thanks to mobile phones the quest for Christmas bits and bobs need never end. ‘Found a Londis thats open!!!’ your partner will excitedly text. ‘Shud i get more stuffing 2 be on safe side?? Ice? Milk??’ By the time you’ve dealt with all this shit it’s January and you’re back at work.
Adult pantos spit in the face of the childlike innocence of Christmas, with Jim Davidson’s livestock-level smut or Charlie Drake leching over young female characters. However, if ‘Are you GOING DOWN in the woods today, Gretel?’ is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard, you’re in for a theatre performance as memorable as Olivier’s Hamlet.
Go to a Caribbean island
A tropical holiday isn’t a different twist on Christmas. It’s the opposite of Christmas: no snow, no sitting by the fire in a pub, no family. It’s like saying ‘I’m really making an effort with Easter this year.’ ‘Cool. Painting eggs? Going to church?’ ‘No, dogging and Satanism.’