SURROUNDED by family and friends, hopefully many of you will have once more enjoyed this special and much-loved occasion. I’m pretty sure most of you will have also observed the rituals and time-honoured Christmas Day traditions that we have been familiarised with over the generations.
In the beginning we are the babies, crawling around the base of the tree with the young mums of the family lightly admonishing us as we endeavour to pull baubles and shiny bits of tinsel from the lower branches.
Over the next few years we morph into the youngsters, excitedly tearing off the paper from presents, brought by a Santa we are becoming slightly more skeptical about, but still prepared to give the benefit of the doubt – just as long as we receive at least a proportion of the presents we asked him for!
The next stage in our Christmas generation game sees us become one of the young and mid-aged adults who, having finally got the youngsters off to bed, are pouring copious measures of alcohol and consuming about a million calories in Quality Street and mince pies, while relating what we consider hilarious tales of past Christmas turkey disasters. All being played out against a back drop of East Enders, Coronation Street, the Queen’s message and yet another rerun of Dr Zhivago on the box.
Generations later, if we last long enough, we find ourselves in the twilight of our years, quietly enjoying the utterly spoiled and most loved exulted position you can attain. You become Grandpa/Grandma. And that’s where this ol’ boy has finally found himself.
Grandpa (or in my situation Great Grandpa) is expected to do just about nothing. He is not required to wash up, clear up, lift up furniture or top up the drinks. He occupies the most comfortable chair in the room (generally in the corner). Periodically he is asked by various family members if he ‘wants anything.’
He is allowed to doze off without being labelled a party pooper and is subsequently not particularly worried that his chair is a little out of the way – just as long as he is close enough to occasionally interject the conversation with an ‘I remember when’ recollection of his own. These narratives are usually delivered to reassure the room (and himself) that he hasn’t actually ruined the whole Christmas celebrations by selfishly deciding to slip away and meet his maker – thereby actually becoming an ‘I remember when’ subject for a whole host of future family Christmas gatherings!
It’s been a blast to be with my amazing family in Dublin this year. Thanks for making yer ol’ Dad proud and happy once again.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Peaceful New Year. With a special thanks to all at the Euro Weekly for putting up with me through yet another highly successful year of our great publication.
Have a wonderful 2020. I partake a large shot of the amber to you all.
Keep the Faith
Love Leapy, firstname.lastname@example.org