OK, deep breaths. We’ve nearly got through it. The festive season is upon us. It’s almost over. All the legwork has been done, the presents have been bought and distributed, champagne has been put in the icebox (and in my house, for some reason, the vegetable crisper) in anticipation of the stroke of twelve on New Years Eve. You can do it. We’re on the home stretch now.
The last column covered the problem of clothing as Christmas presents, the one before that, the problem of dressing for the wintry weather, the one before that, the problem of dressing for Christmas parties. Sometimes I wish that Christmas was three months long just so I could write about how problematic a combination Christmas and my clothing is, not least how hard it is to fit into my impulse-buy leather pants after yet another mince pie too many.
Yep, I’m a Scrooge. At the very least, I am an amped-up modern Scrooge, like Bill Murray in 80’s tacktastic remake, ‘Scrooged’, where he plays a bepermed television executive who eventually learns the error of his ways... or at least I think he does. I was definitely not paying attention.
I don’t hate Christmas - I love it. I love seeing my family and reuniting with homeward bound friends, I love giving (and receiving) presents, I love that it’s an excuse to eat as much breaded, deep fried brie as you can physically handle while glued to a Judy Garland marathon. All of these activities are best undertaken wearing a ratty, too-big t-shirt of your dads and a pair or droopy treggings (bonus points for fashioning a little red Snuggie into a cape, extra bonus points for going to the pub in such an ensemble).
Christmas and New Years are times to be comfortable. That’s my problem. I know that, once the 6th of January has come and gone and a million Christmas trees are slowly turning brown after being shunted in a million back yards, I will have to put on the skinny jeans again. And when I realise that the skinny jeans won’t go past my kneecaps, the party really will be over. It’s not for nothing that the average weight gain over the Christmas period is seven pounds.
And then, the New Years resolutions. The juice fasts. The pilates. The expensive gym memberships. The rice cakes, an endless stream of them, all masticated methodically in order to fit back into those impossible jeans again. First the binge, then the purge. It’s a cliche to call it a vicious cycle, but it really is vicious; it’s a snarling beast that wakes you up every day at 6am to go for a jog before work and forces you at gunpoint to put down that Galaxy Caramel - now.
All the same, humans have a short memory and are remarkably resilient creatures (or incredible masochists). We put ourselves through this torture because we know we’ll get to do it all again in a matter of months; and we love it. If that seven pounds doesn’t slide off so easily and the jeans remain a bit tight, so what? That’s what the January sales are for.
LICENTIATE FESTIVE NOTICE! There will be no column next week. The next Licentiate column goes up on the 7th of January, so stay tuned. From the second of January, there will be some very special posts from very special Irish bloggers - more on that in the New Years.
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