"Calm down love, it's only Christmas!" is apparently not the thing to say to irate customers shopping on the 23rd of December, as someone from work found out after being prodded in the chest by a woman who was clearly insane and obviously not enjoying her pre-Christmas shop. Every year it never ceases to amaze me that people actually want to leave their house and go food shopping two days before Christmas, and yet there they are, without fail, like cockroaches queuing around the freezers. At least we can rest assured that at least one customer won't be coming back next year after she broke down in tears at the till claiming to have been insulted by another customer for pushing in and saying that this had been the "worst experience of [her] life". It's difficult to sound genuinely sympathetic when people are this dramatic, although I do enjoy that they think that saying they are never returning is a threat rather than a treat. It takes nearly all of my self control to make myself look somewhat upset instead of saying, "off you trot then, love," and pointing to the door.
I have decided, in all my wisdom, that Christmas is just not worth the hassle anymore. I don't know if this is because I am simply getting old, or because, for the second year in succession, I had to unwrap all the presents I had spent half an hour carefully wrapping because I had accidentally included the scissors in one and I didn't know which. In hindsight, I should have just left them in and claimed it was a modern day version of the 5p-in-the-Christmas-pudding-game. I never really understood that game - given that, apparently, most money contains traces of feces and cocaine, you're hardly a winner if you happen to put some in your mouth during Christmas dinner... (I'm aware that people probably don't snort cocaine with a 5 pence piece, but that's not the point I'm making). It's the same with that superstition that it's lucky if a bird shits on your head. If that's lucky, I'm not sure what unlucky is, unless it's being shat on by a cow. A bird shitting on your head is probably only a good thing because, if a bird's just shat on you, chances are your day can only get better.
Christmas morning itself was rather anti-climatic as I got drunk on Christmas Eve and opened all my presents with my mum and my sister (as a family, we're pretty low on the self-control). I was, however, treated to going to Mass in Leeds Cathedral with my mother (that's twice in a week if you're reading, Jesus), which was, as always, simply delightful... My favourite part was the man stood outside when we were leaving handing out leaflets about Jesus' miracles in the Qu'ran. That itself wasn't particularly funny, it was the 80-year-old woman who threw it back at him and spat, "I don't think so," that made my morning. She was definitely not letting anyone ruin Jesus' birthday party. Poor Jesus, I bet when he was young he hated being one of those kids whose birthday was the same day as Christmas.
Boxing day fared slightly better as we went to Chesterfield for Christmas dinner with the family. I regret that we played on the Wii fit straight after Christmas dinner though - it told me that I was obese and had the physical age of a 29 year old (although I still maintain that had I been allowed to take my jeans off, the outcome would have differed). On the plus side, it did tell me that I had an impeccable centre of gravity, which is obviously what every girl wants... If there's anything that gives one an excuse to comfort eat, surely being called fat by a computer game is it, so I drowned my sorrows by getting drunk, eating After Eights and watching my mother attempt to master the Wii ski-jump - it took us a few tries before she managed to get it into her head that you didn't actually have to jump off the board. (We had to keep our cheering to a minimum in case we woke up my cousin's 2-and-a-half year old who had been sent to bed after being told we were "putting the games away" - nothing says Christmas like hiding fun from a child). We had to move on to actual board games after a while when we all became worried that someone would get too involved (/drunk) and go head-first through the TV. Had we been a normal family, this would have probably have gone relatively smoothly. As it is, by the end of our first round of The Logo Game, there had already been a full-blown argument about whether a JaffaCake was a cake or a biscuit. It got very technical, the phrase V.A.T. was thrown around, and by the time the next round came my cousin's girlfriend had been demoted to question reader so as to avoid any further bust ups. We tried playing Articulate with slightly less aggression but it's difficult to remain calm when your teammates cannot guess the word 'lizard'. Admittedly, screaming "WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID?!" at them was bound to delay progress, but there's only so much I can take. Board games have always inspired fervor in our house, as was proved the other day during Scrabble when Chris started Scrabble smack talking, telling everyone to "get their calculator out". I realised how weird we are as a family when I was insistent that 'gnodesock' was a word and Kezia spent a good five minutes trying to convince everyone that 'warporn' was a real thing...