17 December 2011
My Favourite Christmas... by Shari Low
Researchers claim that the most common time for a Christmas Day family dispute is 4.17pm. They’re pulling my cracker – my family has never made it past lunchtime.
I have two brothers that I love dearly, but break out the Monopoly and they immediately go from being my flesh and blood to enemies number one and two.
We can’t help ourselves. Normal people hear the phrase, “Want to play a game?” But for our brood the message somehow translates to “Come ahead and prepare to meet thy doom.”
Honestly, we don’t need the spirit of Christmas; we need a referee and someone to hold the coats.
When we were children my parents had to stop us playing together because a game of Snap required pre-emptive body search for blunt objects.
Now? Forget rampant consumerism and society’s shift away from true meaning of the festive season.
The real scourge of Christmas comes in a box of pure evil called Pictionary.
It should be banned. Outlawed.
Describing a dodgy movie that a pre-sofa Tom Cruise made in 1984 results in strops, huffs and more fixing allegations than a week in a dodgy betting shop. And in the case of my younger brother, it once also resulted in a scud across the back of the head delivered by a furious team-mate who overheard him calling her a liability. Our granny is fierce when provoked.
And much as I’ll only admit under extreme torture - After Eight depravation, Coldplay CDs – I’m the worst out of the three of us. If I say it’s Professor Plum in the library with the lead pipe then his mug shot better be on Crimewatch or I’ll sulk until Hogmaney. Yes, I know it should be spelt Hogmanay but in 1992 I bet my brother ten pounds that it was spelt with an ‘e’ and I’m still refusing to concede defeat.
Sadly, however, the competition doesn’t extend to the kitchen. It would be fabulous if we were all in there chopping up a storm to see who could whip up the most delicious gastronomic treat.
I give you last year’s Christmas day debacle. We started well with a jolly festive Bucks Fizz over breakfast. Did that conjure up a Marks & Spencers advert-type image of a posh yuletide morning?
Em, not quite.
Shove over Twiggy ‘cause mine is the true face of Christmas: a tinsel headband, Pat Butcher’s flashing earrings, singing Westlife songs while sipping on the cultured delight of Lambrusco topped up with Sunny D.
Anyway, I then got distracted caught up in a battle to the death - I believe the official name is Ker Plunk – and two hours later realised that I’d forgotten to put the turkey in the oven.
Christmas lunch became Christmas dinner. By which time, the soup had gone off, you could grout tiles with the gravy and a game of Operation had resulted in the removal of two kidneys, a spleen and my oldest brother who’d been sent to another room for disorderly conduct.
But those turkey sandwiches were delicious and we worked them off with a game of Twister that ended with a pulled hamstring and tears of laughter.
As I said, we’ll never be picture perfect…. but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Love, Shari xx
You can buy Shari's latest book The Friday Night Girls as a paperback or on eBook now!