22 December 2006

Your Family Christmas 24 December 2006-25 December 2006

The As A Dodo team apologise for the following piece which may not, on reflection, be as full of the spirit of Yuletide merriment as we had hoped when it was commissioned. The author was last seen staggering from the As A Dodo building threatening to strangle some department store elves with their own tinsel before battering the out-of-work actor playing Santa to death with a crutch wrenched from under the arm of our new office boy, Tiny Tim "God bless us, every one" Cratchit.

Two seconds later Dad made that fatal remark about Mum having put on a bit of weightYour Family Christmas reached the end of its tether at the peak of the Yuletide season when a massive alcohol and turkey binge precipitated a row of even greater proportions, culminating in a cranberry-sauced fatal festive familial frenzy.

Your Family Christmas began its short and tragic life on Christmas Eve when, despite having sworn blind “Never again!” after last Christmas, it yielded to the myth of the season of peace on Earth and goodwill to all men (and relatives) and decided “what the hell, it’s Christmas” and returned to the bosom of its family.

Laden with presents bought in a feverish state of Crimble euphoria brought on by misty-eyed nostalgia induced by hearing Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody in the pub, Your Family Christmas fortified itself with two pints and a double whisky, before braving the train / bus / roads packed tighter than a shed full of turkeys to reach “home” in the early hours of the evening.

Pausing long enough to have a cup of tea and a mince pie and grow uncomfortable in the presence of teary-eyed parents celebrating the prodigal’s return, it quickly made its excuses and escaped to the pub to imbibe as much Christmas spirit as possible with old school friends that, on any other day of the year, it wouldn’t think twice about.

Waking bleary-eyed on Christmas morning, Your Family Christmas enjoyed a perfunctory and self-cancelling exchange of gift vouchers, cheques, used notes and socks before the first sly dig from swivel-eyed siblings still nursing a grudge because of a perceived imbalance in the amount spent on presents at Christmas, 1987.

Driven to drink by 10 AM in order to blank out the hideous mauve and orange design of the hand-knitted Christmas jumper from Great Aunt Beryl, Your Family Christmas sat head in hands while Gran espoused a political philosophy somewhat in opposition to the spirit of Christmas and considerably to the right of the Daily Mail, Rush Limbaugh and even Tony Blair.

Following the delight of being forced to watch the Queen’s Speech, Your Family Christmas sat down to a lovingly prepared meal. The first barbed comment was served with the over-boiled brussels sprouts and quickly escalated into a full-blown row with the delivery of the burnt turkey. By the time the second bottle of undrinkable wine had been opened, the insults were flowing considerably faster than the gravy and the United Nations had been put on standby. As the plates were cleared by the novel method of hurling them across the table, George Bush had declared Your Family Christmas part of the Axis of Evil, and by the time the Christmas pudding was served – “in your face” – the US Marines were at the door claiming Your Family Christmas had opened fire on them while they were escorting Santa to visit some orphans.

Your Family Christmas uttered it’s last, pathetic words, "Oh God! I'm too drunk to drive, I'm stuck with you" just before it was asphyxiated by a relative high on sweet sherry and a dangerous level of roast parsnips. Your Family Christmas will be left in the fridge for three days until people can no longer bear the sight of its battered carcass at which point it will be tossed, without ceremony, into the bin.