Christmas Day – Seduced
Christmas Day and some will wake refreshed and full of self-congratulatory smugness for not embarking on a heavy drinking session on Christmas Eve
Others of course will wake up with a mouth that tastes like the inside of a marathon runners jock strap and a head inside of which the combined bands of the Royal Marines are playing Beat the Retreat.
Except as everyone knows there is nowhere to retreat to.
Merry Christmas everybody.
Children have been up before dawn full of expectations and are now trying to remember when or even if they asked for a pair of furry dice which they are sure they saw for sale in the garage up the road.
Everybody starts the day off well but then a thing occurs in most homes that only happens on Christmas Day and that thing is an apparent forgetfulness of the notion, idea and concept of gender equality.
Throughout the rest of the year equality is assiduously practiced.
Sharing the housework, raising the children including the dreaded school run, and sharing the cooking.
We are equal is the cry.
Then for a single day it all evaporates because for some inexplicable reason women seem hypnotically drawn as if by a primeval force towards the mountain of food they’ve bought “to get us through Christmas”.
In fact some of the stuff has been accumulated over months with the admonishment and warnings that “don’t touch that it is for Christmas” being given in such a way that to ignore them would lead to death or something even worse.
Men I have to say appear to also be under some unexplainable primeval force to let them.
Though to be fair they do feel that they are helping by opening the alcohol and may even manage opening the mixed nuts that it seems are compulsory and have to be spread about the house in small dishes as nibbles.
One thing a man should never do in such instances is say “is there anything I can do to help”?
Not because you shouldn’t help but because it is well known that you don’t really mean it and if the offer is accepted it will ruin the day for everyone.
Men by the way when they – if they do – make such an offer expect only one response,
“No thanks, I’m fine why don’t you go for a walk perhaps nip in the pub”
It is best delivered in the kind and tone of voice women reserve for talking to very young children or half-witted imbeciles.
We are fortunate in Ipplepen that the Wellington is open Christmas Day not only for the consumption of alcohol (even the drinkers are sociable for today everyone is in the same tribe) but also to serve up Christmas Dinners.
Which by the way are brilliant.
So the decision is made, some presents opened first thing in the morning, the kids working out why it is they haven’t got everything they want, the women with a glass of something trying to work out where they put the pigs in blankets they bought in September and the men escaping the mayhem by retreating to the pub.
Ah! If only life was so simple.
Who really knows what happens anywhere else on Christmas Day.
People – especially if you have dogs and young kids – do go for a walk around the Village on Christmas morning and the Christmas tree lights twinkle and glow behind the windows and in the gardens brightening up what is or could be just another dull winters day.
They seem even warmer and more cheerful if seen against a background of a severe frost or light dusting of snow.
Ipplepen on Christmas morning ceases to be just another rural south Devon Village and becomes something much more.
It becomes a place that no matter how chaotic, disorganised, unconventional, conventional or organised your life may be just for today there seems to be a state of mind in which everyone or at least the majority are the same.
Good people, honest people trying to make sense of having to travel through an increasingly chaotic and uncertain world.
To know and feel that they belong and are welcome, lucky and entitled by rights to live here.
People all seduced by Christmas.
Well perhaps not all.
If you stray on your walk into certain areas the certainty is that you’ll be told in no uncertain terms
“Bugger off my land or I’ll set the dogs on you”
See… Even the farmers have caught the Christmas spirit, any other time they would have told you to
“f*** off my land, sharpish”
Happy Christmas everyone.