That’s not a rhetorical question, I genuinely have no idea when the festive period officially ends.
I’m also not sure what the record for consecutive pyjama days is but the kids must surely be close to breaking it by now.
Like a John Lennon bed-in, had his protests been directed at sprouts rather than the Vietnam war, albeit the consequences of Janet eating so many quantum cabbages was every bit as brutal.
I’d like to blame the bad weather for us being housebound, but I’d be lying. Unless I missed storm Laziness and/or Gluttony, in which case it absolutely was.
But it does feel like the festivities have just about run their course.
I’ve cleared a corner of the dining room to act as a half-way house for the Christmas tree on its way back to the loft.
The Sky+ box is full to bursting with Christmas specials which I’ll delete in August having never got round to watching.
I’d assumed the 7+ on the box was a reference to age. Hadn’t realised it also referred to the number of hours I’d spend building the damn thing long after they’d lost interest and returned to their screens, or the number of expletive-ridden tantrums I’d throw in the process.
But it has been a fab Christmas. From unwrapping November’s throwaway comments right through to the last obnoxiously orange Milk Tray chocolate I selflessly consumed last night.
For the boys, Father Christmas came good (with a little help from family and friends), even if their last minute dash to the good list suggests they weren’t entirely convinced they had it in the bag. Quite clearly they know something I don’t.
Janet discovered her broken ankle had healed enough for her to be able to drive again and is at pains to point out that this had absolutely nothing, zero, zilch, not a thing to do with getting to the Trafford Centre for the New Year sales.
And I managed to lose not one but two bake-off’s.
A cake bake-off with Janet’s family which was a result even the FIFA ethics committee would find difficult to justify, and two days later a pie bake-off with my own family. I’ll not lie, this one hurt the most.
Not because I spent Christmas Eve trawling the supermarkets on a quest to find venison and juniper berries. Nor was it because I’m a sibling of the most ridiculously competitive family (see venison and juniper berries). It wasn’t even because I thought watching Masterchef was akin to four years at catering college. Oh no, what really hurt was that I’m the only son of the judging mother, which apparently counts for nothing?!
But Christmas is about spending time with the family, and never more so than on Boxing day when we drive across town to visit the in-laws … and where I immediately drop Janet and the boys off before returning home for a day on my own!
What? I’ll have you know it’s a family tradition that goes as far back as time immemorial… or 2008 when Janet and I first met.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all my extended family, just not as much as I love an empty house, leftovers and uninterrupted back-to-back-to-back-to-back football.
I’d even go as far as to say it trumps finding out the first bin collection after Christmas was paper and cardboard (get in!) I may have let out a little bit of wee with that revelation!
So what I’m really trying to say is that as much as I love Christmas day, and really I do, it’s little more than a prequel to the main event. A supporting act if you will. The Phantom Menace to … I have no idea what, I was more of a Blake Seven fan myself.
But if I don’t know when Christmas officially ends, I do know when it ended for me. It wasn’t when the tree came down or the toys littering the front room went up. It wasn’t when the school uniforms came out for ironing. It wasn’t even when I finally declined a mince pie in favour of a piece of fruit. It was a couple of days ago when on her way out of the house Janet turned to me and said,
“The toilet’s blocked and Luca’s had a poo … in that order. I’m off to the gym”.
There endeth Christmas, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.