US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
I didn’t quite visit the 6,692,030,277 houses Santa will have visited this weekend, but in total I had no less than 4 ‘Christmas day’s’ with the people involved in the various sectors of my life. It’s not the most I’ve ever had, nor the least, but it is certainly a great deal more than other people do.
My first Christmas day came 3 weekends before Christmas. My mum’s side of the family always meets centuries before Christmas day (commonly nicknamed; the dreaded Family Christmas) to exchange gifts, eat food, play board games (no-one really understands or pays much attention to) and eat a bit more food. Its gives my Grandad ample time to comment on the shortness of all of his children and grandchildren’s skirts or dresses, the chance to make a racist, sexist or crude remark about someone either dead or alive he knows nothing about and, of course, the opportunity to act macho/alpha male in front of my uncles and brother. Still, it is always nice to see them all, even if some of them are a little crazy or completely bladdered.
Christmas day número duex came in just a week before the real Christmas day. It involved my mum’s closest friend’s family. She has four kids, a clinically insane Border Collie, a husband that works for the Queen and the houses of parliament, and, a Mum who lives with them in their loud, children filled house. We always meet just before Christmas to exchange presents and have ‘Christmas cuddles’. One of their youngest sons is only four and has told me on no uncertain terms that we are to be married when we are grown-ups. This is sweet, though he promptly followed this up by saying that when he gets bored with me, he’s going to marry a little girl who goes to his playschool. Ho hum, at least I’m not doomed to be a spinster.
Rhif dydd Nadolig three was held the day before Christmas is celebrated by normal people. When my dad left nearly seven years ago, there was no question that we would live full-time with my mum. Therefore, we have always celebrated Christmas with her and then with my dad a few days later. This year, however, things were shaken up. My mum is a Sister (and a brilliant one at that) on a children’s ward and this year, for the first time since she was a student, she was asked to work on Christmas day and Boxing day. I’m not going to lie, I cried when I found out- pathetic I know. It just seemed strange to even consider having Christmas without my mum. We celebrated christmas, therefore, on the day before; opening presents ridiculously early, laughing about lame presents we had received from family that barely knew us, preparing a big christmas dinner, eating christmas dinner and then rolling around on the floor complaining we’d eaten too much Christmas dinner (my sister thought this was a wonderful photo opportunity, needless to say, these photos will be hidden in the very depths of my laptop.). My dad then picked us up that evening and drove us to Derby where his mum lives.
The next two days were spent with my dad at his mum’s house to celebrate Christmas number four. It cheered me up that he was so excited to have us. He then made me incredibly nervous by saying he was going to be the one to cook Christmas dinner the following day. I had visions of headlines up and down the country screaming ‘CHILDREN DEAD AFTER EATING TOXIC WASTE’. My father assured me he knew what he was doing, even though he had never cooked christmas dinner before in his life. I woke up the following morning, revelling at the prospect of Christmas day food poisoning, with a side portion of red wine and crackers. We opened presents and wrapped my poor grandma in a cocoon like fashion using the mink, yes real mink, blanket my dad had given her, so that she could move neither her arms or her legs (which was more comical than you can imagine). Dinner was served and it was actually delicious. My dad had conceded to letting my Grandma be in charge of the turkey. She did it exactly how ‘Delia’ told her to do it, which probably involved taking it out of the oven half way through cooking it, giving it a kiss and a smack on the bum and then putting it back. When it was finally ready, my dad told her it was ‘relatively dry’. I thought she was going to cry (which probably would have made it a little more moist anyway). This meant that when we were eating the turkey, my siblings and I made overly loud lip smacking noises to try to cheer her up. When she bustled off to make pudding I threw several crackers and a serving spoon at my father to discipline him, which worked as now he’s nursing a spoon-shaped bruise on his forearm.
When I was a kid, if someone had told me that I would grow up to have this many Christmas days, I probably would have wet myself with excitement. More Christmas days means more presents right? Well yes it does, but it also means more stress, more people and more/too much food. Next year, Santa mate, if this many Christmas days are thrown at me, could I just skip Christmas and have Easter?
PS. I love you JS.