sunday life: in which I plan to cope with my mad family at Christmas

i cheerfully watch this film every christmas, deliriously full of turkey.

This week I cheerfully lower the tone of Christmas.

When, in a few weeks, I arrive into my hometown after a sweaty four-hour crawl up the highway, I’ll be pulling over in a truck stop, breathing deeply and repeating the following mantra: I aim only for cheer. I will then calmly continue on to Mum and Dad’s and enter the Wilson Christmas Fray. Breathing.  Very. Deeply.

Christmas is hard. First, there’s the strobing, jingly, soul-deflating onslaught of crass consumerism from about August onwards. Which we then try to deflect by Focusing on What Really Matters – family, the joy of giving and so on. Which, in turn, serves only to create ridiculously high expectations that come crashing to earth in an argument over who left the skid marks in Dad’s gravel drive. All before Grandma’s first sherry’s poured.

I’m sure families aren’t designed for extended periods of intimacy. But every year, there we go again, piling on top of each other for 48 hours-plus and expecting born-of-a-virgin-like miracles.

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