Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and I’m buggering off abroad and missing the lot.
Well, not exactly, but I am going away for Christmas. When I tell people this, and they hear the exotic overseas location, they are somewhat envious. You see, I’m off to South Africa.
I say I’m leaving, and their minds drift to those daydreams they’ve had, no doubt whilst queuing in John Lewis or elbowing their way through bad-tempered shoppers on Oxford Street, dreams of running away – abroad, specifically.
Running away from the stress of being unable to find that elusive gift for your second cousin once removed, from the surly unappreciative look on your mother-in-law’s face as you present an undercooked turkey, from the hideous chaos of it all.
Yes, a Christmas that involves heat, beaches and does not have cranberry sauce or a distant relative in sight – that’s what people are dreaming of.
But it’s not that simple. Because I’m going to South Africa with the family. The entire Brown contingent will be getting together. And with an age range from 8- 85, there’s not even a Mattel game that’s suitable for us all.
I know a couple who decided that they simply could not face another Christmas with their respective families. So they invented a well timed skiing holiday that was going to take them away from home for the festive season. And what happened? Well, they stayed at home alone, in peace, but then daren’t leave the house for fear of being spotted. They spent their Christmas hiding in the living room with the curtains drawn, in constant fear that their families could drive past and discover the truth at any moment. They couldn’t even pop to Asda to replenish the Quality Streets.
So you see, perhaps a family Christmas is preferable after all.
It’s a good job. Cause this Christmas, we’ll be getting all the family, blood and extended, former and future, nice and tiresome, old and young, sticking them in a room and celebrating the day.
A room that is 6000 miles from my room, with my things, my habits and my sanity.
Luckily for us all, we’re all far too British to actually fall out, so it will be sunshine, bbqs and a hearty dose of emotional repression.
So, turns out I’ll be embracing the Christmas chaos after all. I’ll just hopefully be embracing it from the poolside.