Belfast Telegraph

Coat hanger trees and three bird roasts? It's the craziest Christmas yet

By Lindy McDowell

Nonsensical and unwieldy the old 12 Days of Christmas may have been but at least you knew where you were with a partridge in a pear tree. Put it like this, rounding up game birds in fruit bushes and high jumping peers of the realm sounds like small beer compared to trying to keep up with the convoluted and lunatic demands of Christmas 2015.

Where do you even begin?

Christmas Shopping

The Beach Body Ready kits of summer are still on the shelves when the first rolls of 3-for-2 festive wrap start to appear. But it really kicks off (sometimes literally) with the American import Black Friday - a weekend of "unrepeatable" bargain prices. Which will be repeated every weekend up until Christmas Eve. Which is when the Boxing Day sales start.

And then there's online shopping. So easy you could do it after a bottle of wine. Which let's face it most of us have. It's not the ordering that's complicated. It's the delivery. The man says he'll be there during specified hours. He never is. Then he leaves it in the bin. Or you get it delivered to work and the boss throws a fit. Just because you ordered two Segways and a 5ft trampoline for the kids. Has the man no heart?

The Christmas Jumper

A sort of ironic craze from a few years ago which suddenly went mainstream. Now big designers are in on the act with designer price tags - a lot to pay for looking like a pudding for a few days in December. At least you might get a bit of wear out of it next year. So long as you don't buy the one with Xmas 2015 on front.

Christmas Facebook Flaunting

You're out for a night with friends and suddenly the fun is halted as the Facebookers whip out their mobiles and demand everybody poses for several dozen shots of all hands pouting to camera. Here's us having a fabulous time. Except we're not. We wasting precious party time posing for endless, boring pics.

The Christmas Tree

This used to be just, well, a tree. (Partridge optional.) Now the onus is on "alternative". Trees made of wire coat hangers ... old saucepans ... massed potted cacti. The options are endless. As is the pressure to come up with one nobody else has.

Christmas Canapes

Sausage rolls and Pringles no longer cut it. You need various permutations of small chorizo thingies in brioche rolls which look amazing on the packet pic but are tediously fiddly to prepare and will never, ever, look anywhere near as good in real life.

Christmas Dinner

Considering turkey? How dated. One bird is no longer enough. It's now all about the several bird roast.

This kicked off a few years back with the three bird option. We're now up to about half a dozen assorted fowl of descending size inserted one within the other. Soon it'll be starting with ostrich and moving down to the family budgie.

Christmas Soft Furnishing Overkill

Cushions, throws, tablecloths, crockery, tea towels ... everything with a robin motif. And duvet covers with Santa, reindeer, snow scenes. Way too much.

Christmas Sentimentality

So long Jimmy Stewart, Bob Cratchit and ET. We're saving our festive tears for soppy promotional ads for supermarket chains this year.

Including the German one of the old boy whose grown-up children are too busy to come back and see him for Christmas. So he sends a message that he's dead and they come back for his funeral only to find he's waiting with the turkey dinner. Some call it creepy. Me, I admire a bit of emotional blackmail.

At any time of year ...

There really can only be one Kate

I'm not the greatest fan of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. But how many more people can she be accused of morphing into?

One report says she's turning into Princess Diana.

Another points out how much she looks like her mother, Carole. There's a turn up for the books.

Most interestingly, we're informed that her new, shorter hairdo came at the prompting of the Queen who reportedly ordered a trim. Who knew Her Majesty ruled the waves? Maybe she could have a word with Harry Styles ...

Wilderness a walk in park for Obama

Bear Grylls, wilderness explorer, has been talking about his Running Wild TV special which starred Barack Obama with him on location in Alaska. As it turns out the President was accompanied by around 50 security guards and a food taster.

The latter may have been unnerved by chat around the campfire which centred on "climate change" and "drinking urine". But, happily, pee didn't feature on the presidential outdoor menu. There was bottled water. And salmon for dinner.

Given the guard and the grub, not so much Running Wild then. More Ambling Tamely.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph