It’s beginning to look a lot like…don’t worry, I’ll spare you. In true pre-recorded style, I’m actually writing this in July and I’ve just popped some Germolene New Skin on the rubby bits from my knock-off Havaianas.

Only kidding. I’d only been blogging for two months in July so it would have been quite smug of me to anticipate that I’d still be going, five months later. This post is very much live and of the moment, and I’m sat enshrouded by fairy lights and Quality Street wrappers. Totally NOT loving the new honeycomb one, btw. And I don’t trust anyone who has to look at the “menu” year on year. And Miniature Heroes suck.

Now, frankly, you’ve probably got enough to be cracking on with than reading my blog on Christmas Eve-Eve. But I thought I’d share a short story with you, from my 2015 Christmas, before I bid you farewell and get back to my emergency last minute wrapping (side note: how the FUCK do you wrap a sodding bike without using 50m of paper and 2 rolls of sellotape?!). You might remember my previous post about flying with a toddler, which took place almost a year ago to the day. That journey (literal, not emotional rollercoaster X-Factor type) led to this…

Santa’s Stockholm Syndrome

For the last 13 Christmases, my husband and I have spent the festive “break” driving across two counties and covering about 250 miles between Christmas Eve and the day after Boxing Day. Having divorced parents further compounds the need to implement a rota system so that everyone gets a piece of the action, and we really, REALLY enjoy the varying guilt trips that begin with “it’s such a shame we won’t get to see X on her first Christmas Day” and other such gems.

So last year, we called everyone out. Bollocks to it, we were pissing off to America, to spend Christmas and New Year with friends. We essentially gatecrashed someone else’s Christmas, desperate for a break in tradition, a full stop in the cycle, and a hassle-free approach to the festivities. We threw the traditional rule book out of the window, and declared that we didn’t even care if we ate SALAD for Christmas dinner, as long as it was different. Different, different, different. We craved nothing else.

Only…a non-UK Christmas is a bit weird, actually. 7pm on Christmas Day, having eaten nothing but pancakes, bacon and Hershey’s peppermint bells, we sat down to our feast. Mashed potato, prime rib of beef, and green beans. It was delicious. But it wasn’t us. My husband collared me in the kitchen an hour later. “I know what we said and everything, but I’d kill for a couple of pigs in blankets.”

“I know, I know,” I replied. “Don’t worry, this time next year we’ll have clocked up 187 miles on the speedo and one of us will be sober as a judge because we’re designated driver. And I’ll be obese with Quality Street.”

I’ve affectionately termed it “Santa’s Stockholm Syndrome”. Bring on the bread sauce and traffic jams, I thought. Only…what I wouldn’t give for another American Christmas. I miss our friends. I miss the Americans misunderstanding our accent. I miss the chocolate box houses and the choruses of “Happy Holidays”. I miss prime rib at 7pm and not a mince pie in sight.

No fucking pleasing me, is there?

Merry Christmas, you lovely lot. Thanks for reading my witterings and helping me to realise a little dream in 2016…a writer can write with no reader to read it, but it certainly makes the whole cake a little sweeter.

-SJW December 2016

Sam xxx