It’s Christmas day and many people are likely stuffed, sitting in front of the TV, watching festive movies, or even snoring loudly. Some may be playing board games, drinking Baileys, wine, tea, or others taking a nice walk to burn off some of the endless calorie laden food consumed at this time of the year, purely by choice of course, no force applied. The season to be jolly however also carries the disadvantages of hangovers and sugar overload but everyone knows there’s no calories in any food or drink on Christmas day.
In the run up to the big day, our favourite virtual assistant, Alexa will no doubt have advised little ones of the number of sleeps till Christmas, their excitement building during the countdown. Bless their little hearts, as they may have wondered if they’re on the naughty or nice list, maybe Alexa has been asked that question too, the little ones happily oblivious to the fact that it really doesn’t matter, the big fella will come anyway, whatever Alexa’s answer.
The threat of a sack of coal instead of toys, from Santa, if on the naughty list, was always hanging in the air when I was young wan in the ‘ olden days’, for those who misbehaved during the year. Sure I even remember, being told that a boy up our street had received a sack of coal because he had been naughty. He did in his arse, sure he was riding around on his brand new red bicycle the very next day, Santa must have checked his list twice in his case and removed him from the implied ‘naughty list’. Sure coal was fast becoming an undesirable source of domestic fuel, due to new air pollution laws, so Santa Claus couldn’t be seen to be supplying sacks to the masses of naughty youngsters in the world.
As we got older, we were having none of the whole Santa fable but living in a large family, had to be seen to be believing for the sake of our younger siblings. While our parents had scolded or even punished us for telling lies as we grew up, they switched to encouraging lies to our younger siblings in order to keep up the magic. How confusing was that! Complete double standards. Ah but they’d call this an ‘act’, which is really just a lie cleverly cloaked with a more acceptable name, in this context. As we grew even older and the ‘lie’ or ‘act’ ceased to be necessary, as siblings themselves matured, we tended to rise from the aul leaba (bed) a little later on Christmas day. Sure we’d have been out till the early hours, filling our mythical Irish hollow legs and if Santa had visited, he would have been long gone, before we reached home. In those days, we had no Alexa to tell us how many drinks we could consume till we fell over!! Even if we had, could she have given us an accurate answer? Nah, sure our hollow legs came in all shapes, widths and depths and by the time we’d have had one drink for the road, one for the ditch and one for no reason at all, sure Alexa wouldn’t have been able to decipher the question ‘Allleexxxaaa, whaddya think, can I manage anudder one’? Clunk!!! Nose hits floor.
On Christmas morning, following the shenanigans of Christmas Eve, hangover ‘n’ all we’d have been forced to attend mass, jaysus, the state of us. More often than not, the option was for the latest possible service, usually at about 12.3o pm. There’d be no cheery greeting of ‘Merry Christmas’ between friends, with whom we may have celebrated the night before. The requisite Irish greeting, after such a night out, having the hollow legs filled instead of the stockings that would usually cover them, would be thrown loosely around. ‘How’s the head?’ one wrecked looking individual would ask the other. Usually the head was very fragile indeed and a ‘hair of the dog’ was required as the cure, such expression meaning, having a drink of whatever you might have consumed the night before, that had led to the filling of the aforementioned hollow legs. If you’d mixed your drinks, best just to choose one strand of one of the hounds in question.
Alexa, bless her, does have her uses nowadays, like advising how many calories are in that Baileys or the Christmas cake and sure doesn’t she play music on demand, so she may provide really fast dance tunes to burn off those extra calories that aren’t in food or drink on Christmas day. Be warned however, calorie free that food may be, but all churned together in the belly, no matter what its size, to keep things in momentum, do not, on any account, request Alexa to play the 1988 hit by Yazz, ‘The only way is Up’. Alcohol, Christmas dinner, pud, assorted chocolates, may all oblige, together in a putrid mix, fondly named ‘vomit.
Though food on Christmas day is calorie free, on the other days of December, it most certainly is not. So, all of those festive get togethers which may have led to mass consumption of such an inordinate amount of calories, could present a huge challenge to the fitbit, Alexa’s first cousin, which may have been received from Santa Claus. The poor aul ‘bit’, fit or not, may go into overload and never mind 10,000 steps, a feckin triathlon might be the only option to get any bit of any aul one fit, ever again. Basically, other than walking the length and breadth of the neighbourhood, a marathon, aforementioned triathlon or starvation for the following week, that New Year’s Eve outfit could be a total washout. Having a reserve in the wardrobe, in the next size up is advisable to blend right in with all of the other calorie laden ladies of varied ages, having the same in common, lots of yummies inside larger tummies and happy smiley faces. However watch out for those smug svelte babes who can eat, treat and still look slim and sleek, without upsizing for the New Year’s Eve party and to add a punch in the stomach to the mix, have an amazing personality and actually be really nice into the bargain.
Speaking of bargains, they can be had as the sales start on Boxing Day. In Ireland we call it St. Stephen’s Day, he being the Saint for that day ‘n’ all that. Good ole Steve provides a bank holiday which is appreciated by the whole nation. Sure Steve and Paddy must be the most popular saints in the Emerald Isle for the 24 hours respite they each provide, bless their hearts. However Boxing day could be a more apt name. Not that Steve was a violent young fella, I’m sure he was a lovely lad but there are more feckin boxes to be got rid of on that day, between toys, gifts, food, Jaysus the feckin boxes are piled high. Trying to flat pack them, to fit into the recycling bins. often wrecks carefully painted festive nails, with the effort it takes. More ‘boxing’ when food scooped from plastic boxes that were filled the evening before is heated up and enjoyed, together with mass consumption of the remains of the boxes of chocolates or biscuits. The kids are overtired retrieving memories of bygone days, when a threat of a ‘box in the ears’ often loomed, over the sounds whinging and moaning. Adults and children alike are glued to the box or playing on the Xbox, or wearing their Reeboks, the list is endless, no wonder it’s called ‘Boxing Day’.
Wheelie bins stuffed with cardboard, St Stephen’s day fades, as slowly but surely New Year’s Day dawns. Following the plus size celebrations of the night before, exhaustion sets in, together with its unwelcome buddy, fat!! Reaching towards the bowl of leftover chocolate liquors the consensus might be, that one more chocolate isn’t going to make much of a difference at this stage. New Year, new body is the intention sent out to the universe, but specifically requesting the size and shape of that body is crucial. Should the request be for a more muscular one, for the love of God, ask the universe for an exact size as membership to the gym could result in bulging biceps instead of trim, toned triceps. Once all of the residual calorific treats have been digested, the new year plans can be put into place. In the absence of the gym, there’s always the slimming club…..tomorrow. Sure how often don’t aul wans lose half a stone in the first week, usually fluid they say and with feckin alcohol having been the choice of fluid consumed in December, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that a stone might come off in that first week of January. Bikini body by week two!!
So, Merry Christmas One and All…enjoy all that booze, safe in the knowledge that the New Year will flush it all back out…. as true as Santa has now arrived back in the North Pole!! Ho Ho Ho!!