LUV – When Andy Williams sang ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’, he didn’t mean Christmas Day. There is nothing intrinsically wonderful about familial tension, bloating and ill-chosen gifts. No, what Andy Williams was singing about was Christmas Eve.
You see, Christmas Eve is all about friends rather than family. It’s about lighting the darkness with and carols and candlelight. It’s about anticipation. Will it snow? What will Father Christmas bring me? How likely is it that I’m going to get food poisoning from these discounted Iceland prawn vol-au-vents? Truly it’s a magical time.
Also, whereas Christmas Day is quite regimented with its strict schedule of gifts/lunch/port/entropy, you can play it faster and looser on Christmas Eve. Stay in bed all day! Go to the pub! Stay in bed all day, go to the pub, drink mulled cider, then go to a showing of The Muppet Christmas Carol and sob helplessly onto the hipster next to you when Beaker gives Scrooge his scarf.
If you will allow me to stray into bad analogies, Christmas Eve is the G&T you drink before you head out on a date you’re really looking forward to. Christmas Day, however, is the slow realisation that you didn’t really enjoy the date, but still managed to eat and drink far too much, plus somehow you also, while still on this date, received a new pair of socks and fell out irreperably with your grandfather. Oh yeah, and something something baby Jesus.
Christmas Eve, all the way. Merry Christmas Eve, everybody!
– Robyn Wilder
HAT – We made it, friends. Christmas comes just once a year for two solid months, and we’ve done it. We’ve eaten some unspeakable things in the name of Father Christmas. We’ve bespangled ourselves and our houses for no good reason. Our ears have been subjected to a jingling GBH and our eyes want bears and hares and big-eyed dying-mum shoeless poppets and those fucking eyebrows to twat off. We’re totally bankrupt, temporarily illiterate, heathens, damp, and we’ve almost certainly got very drunk and got off with someone unwise, because ruining friendships is fun when you can cry along to the Pogues seeping out of the walls literally wherever you are.
But we’re here. The worst day of the year. Because in 24 hours it’s over. All that build-up, all the calories, all those public disorder arrests in Westfield, all for one measly day which’ll be gone before you can finish burping out Merry Christmas (War Is Over) in five-part family harmony. And then it’s sales, detox, a whole new set of Sound of 2014 musicians to pretend to care about, easter (seriously, Sainsburys? Already?!), summer, X Factor again, marriage, kids, pensions, retirement, old age, crumbling death. Christmas Eve is an speck of dust in the vast, barren, unforgiving and uncaring universe, and you are an insignificant molecule teetering upon it.
Oh, I’m sorry, were you expecting LUV & LOL? Read the masthead. Then come back here and give me a hug because I love you all. Merry Christmas.
– Julia Blyth