Sod the party dress. I thought I'd light the fire, try out my latest eBay purchase and recreate some of the magic from previous years because the happiest Xmases are always spent in bikinis.
Agonda, South Goa on Xmas Day 2005. We rented a coco hut on the beach, packed a single set of clothes and wore nothing on our feet for weeks. We woke when the sun came up and slept when it became too dark to read by candlelight. We ate whatever the owner had bought from the market, cauliflower roasted in a tandoori oven fashioned from an old oil drum, fluffy rotis dotted with chilli, & paneer and pineapple kebabs, washed down with fiery cashew nut fenni. The beach was empty so we'd strip off and skinny dip, our audience being a school of dolphins and the occasional sea otter.
This was Alleppey beach, Kerala on Xmas day 2008. Laughing kids shimmied up palm trees to bring us fresh coconuts on demand whilst we sat in the shade swigging rum from the bottle with a group of toothless, thong-clad fishermen. Westerners were a novelty to the locals, each in turn stopping to practice the few English phrases they'd remembered from their school days, Hello! How are you? What is your good name? Where are you coming from? The further we walked along the beach, the more our entourage grew.
With memories like that tinsel, TV specials and roast turkey dinners are about as appealing as a drunk bloke in a tracksuit wielding a branch of mistletoe.
Tomorrow, after exchanging presents (I tried to stick to the £15 allocated budget but blew it by £2, tut tut), the two of us be eating beetroot and goats cheese rostis with dauphinoise potatoes, pureed carrot & swede, honey & mustard roasted parsnips and sprouts tossed in sesame seeds. There will be a Bollywood movie and The Bombay Royale will be blasting from the stereo.
In the evening I'll dust off some of our retro partyware ready for my brother and Jon's oldest friend, Tony. They'll bring the booze and we'll provide fancy cheese, crackers, pickles, olives and nuts. We'll play punk, new wave and ska with a liberal dose of the Smiths until the early hours, then we'll send them on their way and crash into bed.
Just to prove that I can do traditional, here I am with greenery on the mantelpiece, resplendent in vintage velvet, feathers and bastard massive bauble earrings....
|I knew those PVC thigh boots and sequined stripper knickers would come in useful one day.|
Look, I've even composed a festive verse.....
'Twas the night before Christmas and all thro' the land,
Bloggers posed by their trees, Cava in hand;
Their wish lists were posted and labelled with care,
In hopes that their gifts soon would be there;
The onesies were laid out all snug on their beds,
While visions of Prawn Rings danc'd in their heads,
And he in Xmas jumper, and her in sequins,
Settled down to watch Love Actually for the evening
When out from the hall there arose such a clatter,
The pair spilled their Advocaat to see what was the matter.
From the lounge to the dining room they flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and saw something awful.
The tree had collapsed from one too many vintage baubles.
Whether you're a traditionalist or a subversive, a rampant atheist or a god botherer here's to you surviving 25th December.
See you on the other side!
See you on the other side!