When was the last time you had a jar of piccalilli in the house? The only time we have this radioactive yellow, blow-the-top-of-your-head-off stuff is at Christmas. And the only time it gets eaten is in January (when it’s under threat of being thrown away if it’s not flaming well eaten!).
Likewise, apart from at Christmas time, when was the last time you drank mulled wine? Or ate mincemeat? Or marzipan? Or thought to yourself, “I know what I need, a bowl of rock hard nuts on the coffee table that will explode into splinters/sprain my wrist when I try to open them…”? I have heard some people can’t even get through the season without buying a bottle of Advocat (I’ve seen the gap on the shelf in Tesco and I reckon they don’t often have a rush on it other than in December).
And it’s not just our buying habits that get a bit odd at this time of year - when was the last time you went to a friends house in the morning and they offered you a “little drink” at 10 o’clock in the morning? And yet, on any day in December that starts with a “2” or a “3” its perfectly acceptable!
All year round we tell our children about stranger danger - and then in December we take them to the nearest department store or garden centre and actively encourage them to sit on the knee of an unknown man wearing a fake beard. At what other time of the year do we encourage our children to put pen to paper and write down everything that their hearts desire (along with the Argos page number)?
At what other time of the year would you ever consider buying Aunty Jean a novelty door stop? Or eat chocolate for breakfast? Or jam cloves into an orange?
Oh well, it is Christmas… so raise a glass to guilty pleasures, because I reckon all these foibles tell us one thing alone: that we may act all grown up from January to November, but given half a chance deep down we’re all still 9 (but now we’re old enough to go to the shop and buy Baileys!).