We live together, we eat together, we have regular arguments about whose turn it is to take the bin out… we’re everything you’d expect a married couple to be. Except at Christmas.
Because despite our vows and our rings and that little Mr and Mrs ornament we’ve got above our bed (the Mr of which keeps mysteriously falling down, which I’m hoping is not an omen), we don’t spend Christmas together.
But don’t worry, it’s a good thing. And here’s why:
1. Christmas is a logistical nightmare
Christmas is the only time of year when we get to spend proper time with our families. And so, for just a few precious days, we choose to do that instead of being together. Of course if we had come from the same family we would get to spend Christmas in the same place, but they wouldn’t have let us get married if that were the case, would they? And because our parents rudely didn’t foresee that their son/daughter would inevitably marry each other in 2013, they didn’t buy houses in the same street. In fact, they’re a good couple of hours apart so in the absence of a car, our only options for a Christmas mash up between families is either walking, or a taxi fare we could only pay for if we remortgaged our house. So instead we opt for sending each other off with presents and good wishes for our respective in-laws and the promise of a post-festive season meet up to help take the edge off the January blues. As far as I’m concerned, everyone’s a winner (and we’ll see what everybody else thinks after they’ve opened their gifts).
2. We get to have a bonus Christmas before the main event
But just because we don’t spend the big day together, it doesn’t mean we don’t get to have our own dose of festive fun. Today, in fact, is our Christmas Day which we have renamed BINGE FEST as we’re spending most of the day eating (and because we’re exceptional at naming things). It’s very similar to a normal Christmas – we have presents, we drink booze and we might even throw in a quick argument about who is or is not sufficiently pulling their weight in cooking the dinner, in the name of tradition. The festive spirit is very much alive and well in this house.
3. Telephones exist
This blog is nothing if not way ahead of the times. So I am here to tell you that telephones exist and enable you to talk to people who are in different towns. And we use those very things to stay in touch whilst we’re apart. It’s so nice to have a phone conversation that’s about what we’ve been up to and how we are, rather than just what we want for tea or to ask if we’ve got any peanut butter in the house. Sometimes we even dabble in a little Skype too if we’re feeling ambitious and want to take a gander at the presents we’ve each been given. It’s nice to have an early glance at the socks I’m going to inevitably end up picking up off the floor at home.
4. It makes New Year worth looking forward to
If Atomic Kitten, Five and Eternal have taught us anything, it’s that big reunions are a very good idea. And we get to have our very own one every year. We cry, we catch up, and we perform all our original hits in front of a live audience (OK, one of those is a lie. He’s never been much of a crier). And it’s nice to have something to look forward to after Christmas. We reunite in time for New Year with just enough time to unpack and eat a few chocolate coins before heading out to be mutually disappointed by whatever we do to celebrate December 31st.
And so we go on with our lives. I’m sure we will have to change our ways at some point, but not before we’ve had children, bought a car, or our parents have seen the error of their ways and become next door neighbours.
But for now I must get back to eating all the cheese, crisps, sweets and mince pies we bought for binge fest. Nobody is going anywhere until this lot is gone.
Perhaps we won’t be going home for Christmas after all.