Writer and The Sunday Times Style’s dating columnist Dolly Alderton knows a thing or two about life. In the final instalment of our three-part festive series she walks us through a typical Great British Christmas Day in the Alderton household. Sound familiar?
Wake up on a deflated air bed in the room in your parents’ house that is used to house one desktop computer bought in 1996, a broken chair they can’t bear to get rid of, your grade four trombone certificate and all your dad’s cricket awards and memorabilia. Try and fail to get back to sleep for an hour.
Open your stocking with sibling despite you and said sibling having a combined age of 55. Whoop and cheer with gusto at DVDs and books, cheer a little less convincingly about the novelty “Grow Your Own Husband in a tin” and dolphin keyring. (You mentioned you liked dolphins at the turn of the century and no family member has ever forgot it; the dolphin has followed you ever since).
Feel a brief moment of relief that there’s a satsuma at the bottom of your stocking and not a lump of coal, but pretend to feel indifferent about it.
Eat so much chocolate you declare you don’t really have any room for lunch.
Ask what time lunch is.
Get changed into your Christmas Day Dress, that you absolutely promise you’re going to keep on until well beyond the Eastenders Christmas Special, not remove in favour of pyjamas mid-afternoon because you’ve eaten too many goose-fat roast potatoes.
Peel potatoes. Panic there aren’t enough.
Settle in to watch The Snowman, an annual Christmas tradition.
Begin drinking prosecco because you’re so traumatised by The Snowman, an annual Christmas tradition.
Sit down for lunch and remind your father for the fourth year in a row that you can’t eat any turkey because you’re vegetarian, the nut roast will do just fine.
Reassure father again that it doesn’t matter if it’s white meat or dark meat, it’s all meat and vegetarians can’t eat it.
Declare you may never be able to eat food ever again.
Face a Sophie’s Choice moment when presented with brandy butter or custard to accompany your bowl of Christmas pudding, but somehow come out the other side just in time for opening presents.
De-robe to an elastic waist.
Bed in for an evening on the sofa and having to act as a negotiator and peacemaker between Camp Strictly Come Dancing and Camp Televised Agatha Christie Novel.
Say this really is the last Christmas you overindulge so intensely.
Warm a mince pie up to go with your once-a-year glass of Bristol cream sherry.
Fall asleep on the sofa. Happy Christmas!
See all of Dolly Alderton’s Christmas posts ›