Its the 1st of January which among other things means the festive period is over, I use the term 'festive' very loosely indeed for it is anything but for me: I hate it passionately. So much so in fact that I've given up lying to people who ask if I had a good time, I didn't it was shit, christmas day was shit as was hogmanay; it was all shit. (I've also stopped capitalising them.)
Here are a few rules that I find to be invaluable for the xmas period.
Don't send them, if you don't even start, when you finally realise what a massive con the whole thing is no one will notice and be offended at not receiving a card from you. I say people will be offended, I don't really care if they are, in fact, secretly (although not any more) it pleases me when people chuck a huff or pout at my lack of xmas spirit in the card department. You only need to buy cards for close family, your mum and dad but not siblings because they don't count and you probably hate them anyway. You only need to buy a card for grandparent/s if they're in a home and not at all if they're senile and won't know one way or the other.
Mostly the same as cards, close family only but not siblings. You do have to put some thought into presents though, you can buy any old xmas card and it'll be fine (just make sure the familial label is appropriate, don't buy a 'Merry xmas Gran' card for your Mum for example.) The biggest danger with presents is over-thinking, 'will this be suitable?' or 'If I buy this, will it be commensurate with what they've bought me?' and 'Why is bodyshop stuff so fucking expensive?' The trick is to leave it until 5pm on christmas eve, the sense of immediacy (if that's even a word) lends a certain urgency to the process that sharpens the mind. Dad's I find are quite hard to buy for, my dad for example always used to get a bottle of Famous Grouse, it was a no-brainer, then his liver failed, among other things this introduced a great deal of trouble at christmas when it comes to gift choice. Fortunately, a side effect of liver failure is chronic Encephalopathy, all the crap the liver is supposed to filter out gets lodged in the brain, its not a disease in and off itself but symptons include confusion, forgetfulness and cognitive degeneration. So, if you were a heartless bastard you could just give the same present every year and they wouldn't know any better. Obviously I'm not heartless, my Dad has gone completely deaf so I bought him a James Last Album. I'm joking, I bought him some cordless headphones. For Mums, find a girl and take her with you, I can only say women have an insight men don't, a girl with only very rudimentary knowledge of another will know exactly what to buy.
No, just don't bother. Same with trees, just forget it.
Enthusiastic xmas people.
I'd like to say just shoot them in the face but I understand this isn't legal. Essentially, you need to do everything possible to deflate their sense of anticipation. For example: "Oh merry christmas, isn't it just so much fun fun fun?' 'Well, it might have been but I lost my [insert close relative here] last week, christmas will be forever horrid and sad for me...' If you can't think of a relative use a pet, you need to impress upon them the notion that you'll never get over it, that way the grinning idiot hopefully won't approach you next year with similar unwanted glad tidings.
I think its legal to shoot people wearing musical christmas hats or other flashing xmas accoutrement, check first though.
I used to like hogmanay but I think I've reached an age where I just think its shit. The only decent thing about it is as an excuse to get dru- oh hold on, I do that most nights anyway... Ok, one good thing is if you live in or near Edinburgh, foreign people will often display looks of shock when you say you don't go to the street party (you get the same reaction with the Edinburgh Festival.) There's nothing quite like the braying nasal whine of an Australian backpacker when you tell them you live in town and DON'T go to the street party.
Ok, I'll be totally honest, I didn't get invited to anything this year, I wasn't organised enough myself so I'm just being a bit sore.
I maintain my view on the street party though, when it finishes, the streets of Edinburgh are awash with total fucking idiots shrieking and squawking. The local pikey fucks are in their element because everyone is being a bit pikey; its horrible. The majority of people seem to manage to have some 'fun' then go home in an orderly fashion but you get the pikey fuckbags just being silly. In a sense, Hogmanay present the local authorities with a unique opportunity, its probably the only night all the pikeys are out on the streets, they could round them all up, put them in an old building and set fire to it. I'm joking, seriously, I am...
I like christmas food, I didn't have any this year though. I did buy some of those wee sausages wrapped in streaky bacon, I forgot to cook them and they went out of date, I peeled the label off and gave them to the pikey family in my stair. I'll know if the food poisoning was fatal if the stairway begins to smell funny, I'll give it a fortnight.
Who are the real hero's of xmas?
Indian and Pakistani shopkeepers and chinese restaurants, they don't do xmas and new year so remain open. I was going to say the emergency services but until they go with my pikey/burning buidling plan they're not getting the accolade.
So now we have a new year, 2012. According to the Incas or Aztecs (I forget which) the world is going to end, John Cusack will do his best but he won't save everyone. The best thing about this particular time of year is its so long until next christmas and new year, that's the best I can say about it.
In the mean time, I'm off out to spray lighter fluid on pikeys while they're still drunk. For those that are unconscious, I'm going to smear their faces with Pedigree Chum and leave them to the foxes.