Is it any wonder we're all a bit grumpy on Christmas Day? Firstly, you stay awake until the wee small hours playing Santa's Little Helpers and constructing bikes and trampolines with butter knives. Then three hours later the kids wake you up screaming excitedly in your ear, "It's Christmas!"
Shortly after you're dragged out to a magnificent tree resplendent with home made decorations (because nothing says Christmas like badly painted toilet rolls) and celebrating this holiest of days by watching the kids unwrap the latest 1st person shooter for their PS3.
And I love it! I LOVE Christmas. Love, love, love it. I love my kids getting so excited they could almost burst: I love I've been able to yell 'Merry Christmas' at everyone for the last month: I love everywhere I go on Christmas Day I'm presented with enough food to 'Feed The World': And I love, love, love it's the last day I'll have to listen to the croonings of Bing Crosby for another 11 whole months.
But do you know why i think I especially love Christmas so very much? Because I'm not the one driving two hours on the Bruce Highway, dragging the kids away from their new presents and demanding they be happy about it.
Not that I haven't done my share over the years. When my parents lived in Brisbane I was the one trekking down the highway on public holidays with all the other grim faced parents, Tracey reminding me to use all my fingers when I wave at the other drivers.
Trying to arrange getting around to all the different family functions on the same day is the real Nightmare Before Christmas. Eating just enough at each so as not to make yourself sick nor offend your host is akin to a modern day Christmas miracle. And if there's a marriage split it's even harder. You try telling Grandma and Grandad they won't be seeing their grandkids until the week after Christmas because it's not your year. Nothing but coal in your stocking.
Eventually you pull up in your driveway in the wee hours, carry your sleeping kids into their beds - their sugar highs thankfully having worn off two kilometers from home - down your first beer of the day then crawl gratefully between the sheets to catch some Z's, only to have your wife wake you three hours later by shouting excitedly in your ear, "It's the Boxing Day sales!"
Is it any wonder the day after Christmas we agree to stay home with the kids and let the missus go shopping by herself?
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