You see, for me, it's not a given that the Christmas holiday will be fun. I think apart from this year, the last truly pleasant Christmas I had was the year I was given a My Little Pony Show Stable as a present, so you can work out how long ago that was. For those who don't know, I come from a family that it is rather fucked up. My mum and dad haven't got on very well as long as I can remember, and although they seem to hate each other most of the time, they're too stubborn to get divorced - even though they both want to!. Both my mum's and my dad's side of the family are rather nosy and interfering, and all of them have this great idea about Christmas being "a family time". And, to top things off, I'm an only child, so I don't have anyone else to act as a buffer between my parents - it's all down to me. What fun!
Well, although I was terribly concerned about Christmas, I kept to my plan. I invited all my friends to turn up, asked my mum to come round for lunch and my dad to come round for dinner. Although they are currently living together (in the flat opposite me!), I just didn't think I could face having the two of them at the same time, because they bicker non-stop. So on Christmas Eve, Richard & I had a fairly relaxed day shopping, and on Christmas Day I got up early to clean up and start the lunch. It seems that a lot of the stresses related to Christmas lunch must be related to the dead animal part of it, because Richard & I made our lunch completely vegetarian, and it was no hassle at all. It took me maybe half an hour to make the veggie roast (starting with raw vegetable protein and ending with something resembling a lump of dead animal, but less revolting), and another hour to bake it and to prepare all the vegetables (six different kinds in total, plus potatoes). No problems at all - well, Richard shouted at me once, for about 10 seconds :)
Our friend John came round, and it was good to see him as we don't get to see each other enough. Then my mum visited for lunch, and ended up staying until we chased her out. She did outstay her welcome slightly - she was fine at the beginning, but got more and more talkative as the afternoon went on, whereas the rest of us were falling asleep. I think she was doing a vampire thing and sucking out our energy! My dad came round for tea and behaved himself rather well considering he's my dad - I think it was about the first proper conversation I'd had with him since his birthday in October, but I suspect this is about the level of contact that both of us are happy with. Both of my parents were pleased with their presents, and I was pleased with the presents that I got from everyone - even the things from fairly distant relatives were appropriate.
So I went to bed far too late last night considering the time I got up, and today the_maenad & Simon and meeping & Peter came round. Sandra brought a game called "Gother Than Thou" with her, which was very silly and a lot of fun. Tim & Peter didn't bring anything with them, but we played Pop'n Music anyway. A really rather restful Boxing Day, all in all.
Can I have a quiet Christmas again next year, please?