Today, my dad came home with a bag of mince pies. One of my top five favourite things about Christmas is the good ol’ mince pie. They’re fantastic. Mince pies conjure up all sorts of festive memories. Subconsciously, dear mince pie, I judge and analyse you with each bite I take. I’m sorry. You’re all lovely, but some are a lot more lovely than others. The best mince pie has a suitably crumbly pastry, a good mince:pastry ratio and is served warm, with cream. Gimme a glass of mulled wine or some alcoholified coffee with it and that’ll be the cherry on the top of the cake. Not literally, of course. I hate those mince pies that, instead of a pastry cover, have icing. Person who came up with that? Yeah, you. What in God’s name were you thinking? What kind of sick person thinks that putting sugary white icing directly on top of mincemeat is a good plan? Because it’s not. So don’t do it.
Mince pies aren’t the only sign of Christmas around the gaff at the moment. There are pine needles all over the carpet, decorations that haven’t found their ideal home yet, stacks of empty decoration boxes in the utility room and not one, but two, Christmas trees. I told my parents that they’ve made it now. Two Christmas trees. That’s definitely a milestone in a person’s life. Can’t wait until the day I get to add that to my CV or Twitter bio or something. I mean, it doesn’t count unless you own the house because, for now, I’m just living off my parents so they get to take all the credit even if I decorated The Second Tree.
To be fair though, The Second Tree is only a baby one. It’s about my height, and I brought my mother to town yesterday to buy another set of lights for it and some new decorations. Like, I have to have a theme for a tree. I’m not into having kids’ decorations on my Christmas tree, and many a war has been had over the placement of my younger brother’s not-so-amazing art and craft on the tree. Fortunately he’s over that stage now, and instead the battle is to allow only red and gold decorations on the main tree. Boring, traditional, classy – whatever you want to call it – I like it. And not just because the vast majority of our decorations fall within that general colour scheme. So anyway, I went to Penney’s because who wants to spend their (or their parents’) money on baubles when it could be spent on whiskey.. Penney’s is class though. I picked out these fantastic brightly-coloured, almost to the point of gaudy, decorations. Which is really quite riveting when you think about it.
This year was the first in a while that I’ve fully been able to enjoy the whole build-up to Christmas thing. Every December from 1st to 6th year has been taken up with cramming for Christmas exams so, while I still managed to make time to decorate the tree every year, this year is the first that I can properly enjoy my handiwork and sit by the tree, wasting time on the Internet, listening to a record or six, reading, drinking tea, eating mince pies, whatever. It’s nice. It’s peaceful. The calm before the storm of the mad nights out that are hopefully yet to come.
So yeah, Christmas, you’re one of the better times of the year. Until it starts snowing and there’s slush and ice and no-one can go anywhere and we’re all left stranded in town at 4am because taxis are scared to come out. But yeah, apart from then, you’re class.