Friday, 18 December 2009
I have finished work for Christmas and have survived all Christmas parties with only a slight hangover (this morning actually – after the annual pub crawl).
I am now ready for a couple of days rest before the mayhem commences next week.
And right on cue, it snowed yesterday for the first time this winter, leaving a small white layer everywhere.
Since I am in the Christmas spirit, I thought I would steal again. I have, for amusement, stolen a Christmas meme I stumbled across (I know – it’s a terrible thing to do – but I don’t care).
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Given the choice I would just hand over the presents unwrapped but tradition dictates (or should I say Mrs PM dictates) that I wrap presents up. I use the term “wrap up” in the loosest possible term because my attempts end up looking like several piles of crumpled wrapping paper.
Thankfully, Mrs PM is the expert and usually does the wrapping, leaving me on selotape duty.
That’s right; I am so incompetent in the art of wrapping presents that I am reduced to cutting strips of tape for Mrs PM. What a sad basket case I am.
When it comes to Mrs PM’s present(s) I tend to use a gift bag – it’s so much easier.
2. Real tree or artificial?
Up until two years ago, we had a real tree – and it was a pain in the arse. I would take my medium sized hatchback to the Christmas tree shop and select a tree that was around six and a half feet tall and had the description “none drop”. The problem is that “none drop” is a complete and utter lie.
Having bought the tree and watched the guys wrap it up in some form of weird webbing I would somehow crowbar the bloody thing into my car and then drive back, flouting all known traffic safety laws, and then drag the thing into my lounge. At that point, the instant I cut off the webbing, the tree would drop the first of many huge piles of needles onto the floor. My car would be full of pine needles and my house full of them too.
It was incredible; surely there is a finite amount of needles on a Christmas tree, yet every single tree I have ever bought deposits an entire forest’s worth on my carpet yet still seems to have an endless supply left to drop the following day.
Even when the bloody thing had gone, I would find pine needles for months afterwards. In fact, I think some of the needles we found the last time we had a real tree were from the year before.
I therefore persuaded Mrs PM to allow me to buy an artificial tree. It is the same height (around six feet six) and it looks magnificent – and it doesn’t drop needles all over the cats!
The one thing I do miss though is the smell of a nice real tree.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Usually when Mrs PM orders me to put up the tree.
4. When do you take the tree down?
As soon as possible after New Year.
5. Do you like eggnog?
Eggnog is made of milk, cream, sugar and eggs and looks like vomit. Even when you add cinnamon or brandy to it, you can’t help thinking as it passes your lips, floods over your tongue and slides down your throat that you are drinking puke.
So no – I don’t drink it.
6. Favourite gift received as a child?
An Action Man with realistic hair and gripping hands. The poor thing was sent on all sorts of dangerous missions and its hair didn’t help it one little bit as I hurled it out of my bedroom window repeatedly.
7. Hardest person to buy for?
My eldest sister and my Mum. In fact, any females, when I come to think about it, apart from Mrs PM (who drops huge hints). Regular readers may know that females make about as much sense to me as aliens so imagine how difficult it is for me to buy for them.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
The kids. If I like it, I assume they will – usually I’m right, because I am a big kid myself.
9. Do you have a nativity scene?
10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
I’ve decided this year to stop sending Christmas cards. I simply don’t see the point of them because I see most of the people I send them to anyway and, to be honest, they are a waste of paper. It is better, I think, to wish people a Happy Christmas in person, or by phone or simply buy them a drink.
Actually, sending emails seems a reasonable substitute, particularly for those who live far away.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
An absolutely horrific shirt. I know that I am a fashion barbarian but even I have standards.
12. Favourite Christmas movie?
I like “Scrooged” starring Bill Murray for a great laugh:
[Props man tries to attach antlers to a mouse]
Props man: I can't get the antlers glued to this little guy. We tried Crazy Glue, but it don't work.
Frank Cross: Did you try staples?
and I also like “It’s A Wonderful Life”.
13. When do you start shopping?
I aim to get all Christmas shopping out of the way by the end of November. I’ve messed up this year though because I still have one present to get – which means I have to go to the Trafford Centre on the busiest weekend of the year. Oh joy!!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas?
I love mince pies.
16. Lights on the tree?
Yes. We have multicoloured lights with various eight different flicker patterns. Once I have spent three hours getting them to work, they look fabulous.
17. Favourite Christmas song?
“Fairy Tale Of New York” by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
We take it in turns and it’s our turn to entertain this year, which means a week of mayhem leading up to the big day. We always end up travelling to Walsall and Balckpool to visit relatives anyway.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?
Only Rudolph (the drunk one) and Donner and Blitzen.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Shopping, overeating and drinking too much.
23. Favourite ornament theme or colour?
I leave that to Mrs PM. I’m not fussy.
24. Favourite for Christmas dinner?
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
A Ferrari. Failing that, a brand new 40 inch HD TV. I hope you have room in your sack Father Christmas – and I hope you’ve forgiven me for my last post.
Feel free to use this meme. All I ask is that you let me know so I can have a read.