It feels weird not heading to England. For the past four years we’ve spent the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas visiting my mum in the crazy home plus a couple of days soaking up London’s festivities before getting home in time to collect Riley, shut out the world and huddle together for Christmas Eve.
But having just visited my mum in October we’re staying in Austin for the whole of December. It’s hard to feel wintry when it’s 70 degrees outside and this suits me fine. I don’t hate Christmas I just wish it wasn’t 5 days before my birthday because this always leads to some rather maudlin end-of-year reflections.
Why can’t Christmas be at some other time of year? All the big holidays are back-loaded to the end of the year, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. It’s like the old English buses cliche, you wait 8 months for a chance to eat and drink in excess and then three come along at once. And in the US the big 3 just blend into one another starting around late August. I think it would be far better if Christmas was moved and combined with Easter. It would be much less stressful for people traveling and more convenient for the Christiany types as they could celebrate the whole lifecycle of Jesus in one fell swoop AND cut the amount of time they have to spend in church. We could call it a hol(y)istic celebration. Do the birth in the morning and unwrap presents and then do the death/rising again/eating chocolate bunnies in the evening. Merry Christer everyone will proclaim. Happy Eastmas your annoying British friends will reply.
Retailers will be much happier under my brilliant new plan because they can now stretch Black Friday all the way through to Good Friday which will save the economy and probably destroy ISIS. And they wouldn’t have to close early on December 24th and the whole day on the 25th. Result.
The only other option is to change my date of birth. Erik has just changed his last name without too much difficulty so I’m sure this must be possible. Maybe I should change mine to my ‘Gotcha’ date. If you’re not familiar this is a hideous term that some loathesome person coined for the day in which an adoptive parent takes custody of or brings home their child. [Presumably having just won it from one of those claw-crane machines at the fairground. One more try and they could have won a plush panda]. Yes I really do hate this term.
But the whole Christmas/birthday combo thing is made even worse by having to listen to John Lennon’s rather judgmental and accusatory tone for weeks on end in every store or restaurant I go near. ‘And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?’ I don’t really feel like I should have to answer to a Christmas song, mostly because I fear that the answer might be ‘not a whole lot’. But if you’re going to challenge me with passive-aggressive lyrics then I’d probably say I’ve done more than spend a couple of weeks lying in bed and pretending that a ‘bed-in’ was a real thing. But I won’t because I’m not like you John.
I suppose your song does hark back to a simpler time when one could write lyrics about wishing a ‘…happy Christmas for black and for white. For the yellow and red ones let’s stop all the fights’. These days you’d better be talking about M&Ms.
And it’s perhaps a bit misleading to say ‘WAR IS OVER!’ and then in tiny letters type ‘if you want it’. That’d be like me holding up a giant sign saying ‘Free Cash Here’ and then in tiny type below ‘must bring own cash’. Signs like yours led some Aussie bint to write The Secret and spread all that wonderful baloney about the law of attraction. Given the world’s current state perhaps we should all stop asking the universe to bring us more death and destruction.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into it and you just wanted to write a christmassy song that was just very very slightly better than Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime’.
But back to me and ‘what I have done’. This year I have, in no particular order, gained 5 pounds, taken a graphic novel workshop, sold my soul in an office job, planned some excellent events, written a new show, performed it in New York, got a mention in Time Out, made 2 trips back to England, been to the beach, written 18 blog posts, auditioned for a film, spent a week in Hollywood, wasted at least $200 on make-up products that I never use, cried in public, become menopausal, lost my ability to do more than 3 pull-ups, eaten a lot of Mojo Sweet ‘n Salty bars, lost 5 pounds, regained some of my soul and bought a bicycle.
How can I possibly top this list in 2016, my year of 50? Surely I won’t do something cliche and milestone-ish like climb Mt Kilimanjaro? Too predictable Gallant. Don’t do it.
And for more on my plans for being 50 read yesterday’s post [NSFW].