Christmas with the Taits

Friday, December 25, 2015

If your family is anything like mine, you may dread coming home for Christmas. However over the years I've come to realise how unique, special and supportive my loved ones are, and as the angst and embarrassment of teenage hood finally faded, I've found myself actually looking forward to coming home this year.

For a while I used to dread coming home not just for Christmas, but for any holiday or birthday or family-related event. I love Wellington, and the independence I had there. But after a while I began to miss home and the insane family that in the past, I would tell people I had "barely escaped from" by moving cities.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Mum and my Aunty unconditionally, but they're nuts. Slightly batty and fiercely stubborn, strong-willed second wave Feminists in their mid-50s with the tendency to yell and lecture you about your lifestyle choices, will cover themselves in tinsel and dance around the room to their favourite Christmas song; Fairytale of New York by The Pogues in case anyone was wondering. My Mum's favourite line is "you scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot.. merry christmas you arse, I pray god it's our last" which she insists on singing every year in her shrill high pitched voice while my Aunty pisses herself with laughter, often commenting "lay off the sherry!". I love Christmas with my family, there is never a dull moment. I've never had to put up with racist uncles from down south or do-lardy grandparents. My Mum has a cat, Einstein, who is a massive prick but I love him all the same, and my Aunt has a dog, Jess, who kinda looks like a barrel with legs. So all together, my closest family is a summary of two people and two pets. It's certainly a darn good life.

Just this morning I heard the faint sound of Disco Inferno and revs of a tiny Mazda from outside and said to my Mum "Aunty has arrived". Mum immediately ran out of the house like an escaped mental patient from a Victorian madhouse while I sat at the dining room table with my cup of coffee, enjoying the quiet before the storm. Aunty exploded into the room, followed by the dog and the chaos began. Other family friends came round and we sat and ate lots of food and drunk lemonade and laughed a lot. This year our Christmas feast wasn't nearly as unhealthy as it usually is, featuring salads and sushi. It was nice. For once I don't feel bloated or sweaty from too much roast and pavlova. In fact I'm still going strong as I type this, sitting with my Mum in the dining room watching the 6 o'clock news. In fact, I might even get the chocolate out, and to be honest, I've been on the wines since midday (new years resolution to drink less is already proving difficult goddamn). Usually I'm in the midst of an intense food coma right now but at this rate, I'm going to be up late enough to watch some late-night tele.

We also didn't do the traditional present thing. My Mum and Aunty are fiercely political and growing up I was often exposed to anti-Capitalist rants and Marxist theory. As I'm now 21, Santa and Christmas and presents have become less important. So this year, we made gifts. Sure, everyone got food. I made chocolate covered marshmallow reindeers (which kinda turned out like elephant men), Aunty made rocky road and Mum made biscuits, but it was nice knowing the amount of effort that went into each gift. In addition Mum made me two skirts which are extremely cute, and Aunty bought me a cute little board game. To summarise: a strangely but still equally lovely domestic Christmas for a group of such fervent Feminists.

Anyway, for me Christmas is not about presents. It's about spending time with loved ones and revelling in the new year, as well as reflecting over the past one. To be honest, 2015 was a pretty eventful time. I got my first photography job, fell in and out of love, got into honours year at uni, laughed, cried, danced and drunk a bit too much. I can honestly say that I'm a lot happier right now than I was at the same time last year. After all, being happy is the only thing that matters right?

Anyway that's all I have to say right now. The chocolate calls, and I think Sound of Music is playing on the tele tonight.

Happy birthday Jesus, until next time babes xx

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