Heading back to the family fold for Christmas, festive badger under one arm and obligatory purple socks under the other? Just us then. These unlucky contributors thought their family traditions were normal until they said them out loud.
Dim sum followed by cleaning the whole house and rearranging the furniture. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without shrimp dumplings and moving the sofa.
We were fairly poor, so my mum would knit me jumpers, usually with animals on. She liked to make them as realistic as possible, so she would snip fur and whiskers off our cats to liven up her knitting.
We had to sing for our dinner. In harmony. My sister also had to wear a hat made of fire and parade around the house in a nightgown designed as a trip hazard.
My family don’t drink that much but on Christmas morning around 9am, we have peach schnapps and champagne with breakfast.
Every year Father Christmas would use our downstairs toilet (next to where the Christmas tree was) before heading off. He’d leave a present* in the corner of the room for my sister and I to share. It was always the first present we’d hunt out: “WHAT’S FATHER CHRISTMAS LEFT IN THE TOILET FOR US!” My favourite ‘toilet present’ was a game called ‘Rapi-ding’. It was like snap, but with fruit and a bell.
* An ACTUAL present, not a shit
Mr Winters always has a chocolate orange for breakfast on Christmas day. He doesn’t like chocolate orange and it makes him feel sick but it’s tradition. A more recent tradition in our house is to see how many of the pets we can get to sit in the tree at the same time. Not sure how this started but it’s staying.
My sister Katie and I used to share a room. She would stay awake until Dad came in to fill our stockings, disguised as Santa. As he walked in, Katie would sit up and shout, “Imposter!”
When my Dad ran a sex shop, all the adults would get a gift from ‘Sexy Santa’; some naff novelty item, penis pasta, chocolate nipples, that kind of thing. One year I was living away and my dad posted my presents to me. I wasn’t in when the postman came and had to collect them from a packed delivery office in Tooting on the Saturday before Christmas.
“Animals buying other animals in the family Christmas presents. Do any other families do that?”
It turns out that that year, my ‘Sexy Santa’ gift was a badge that, when you pressed it, made the noise of a woman orgasming. Loudly. Well, of course it went off as the postal worker handed me the gift in front of everyone, and all I could say was, “Oh, it must be from my dad.” None of that is normal is it? God I miss him; RIP Barnesy senior.
In the absence of Christmas stockings, Mum put our presents in pillow-cases, knotted at the top. Larger items, too big to wrap, were sheathed by bed sheets like shit ghosts. Loved it.
Animals buying other animals in the family Christmas presents. Do any other families do that?
My parents go on holiday every year over Christmas because “We’re Jews so Christmas isn’t for us,” so for many years, our tradition was me and my sister, sitting alone, eating M&S mini foods and getting drunk and powering angrily through box sets.
Every Christmas Day I have a little Christmas Cry at some point. That’s normal, right?
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