Monday, December 20, 2010

A Twenty Something Christmas

I love Christmas. Love. It.

I was very close to purchasing an advent calendar this year but figured I didn't need any more chocolate in my life right now. I'm sure there are calendars out there without delicious treats behind the perforated squares but the gratification just wouldn't be the same.

Ofcourse I can't say that I love Christmas as much as I did as a child. I was one of those kids that tossed and turned all night then stared at the clock from about 3am until 6am. This was the designated 'getting up' time as imposed by my evil parents who were clearly sadists. We were talking about this at work the other day when one woman said that she often has to wake her kids up on Christmas morning. What is with the youth of today?! It was apparently no suprise to anyone that I was one of the overly zealous greedy little creatures that struggled to sleep on Christmas Eve...hmm.

I don't watch the clock anymore but to be fair I probably wouldn't sleep so well if it wasn't for the traditional boozy beach bonfire I now participate in every year (great tradition by the way, I recommend it!). No, my passion for Christmas has lulled since then, particularly during my angsty teen years where spending time with family is either humiliating or incredibly tiresome. I mean why spend the day at home when I could be out with my mates stealing some booze and maybe a pash from some guy down at the park right?!

I have grown up a wee bit since then. Obviously booze still plays its part but unfortunately no pashing this year with the boyfriend at his home on the other island. That's an odd thing about twenty something Christmases in a long term relationship. Typically you don't have enough responsibility (or funds, patience, sobriety skills...) to host your own event so the tricky decision as to whose house you should go to has to be made. So we decided to not decide (we're good at that) and instead stick with our own respective herds. Maybe next year we'll choose. Although the possibility that I may have to give up my Mum's Christmas Eve ham is going to be a bone of contention.

That brings me to the next major influencing factor and potentially the difference between a great or epic fail of a twenty something Christmas. Family. You're past the years when family members merely resemble brightly coloured packages and the biggest gets most of your attention. You're also well over the 'family equals lame' phase. Now you get the dubious delight of being able to observe first hand, the strain that this magical time puts on family ties.

Naturallly such tension has probably always existed but it's just that now you're not too distracted by greed or self loathing to notice. A friend of mine has a family who are particularly difficult and so he's come up with what I think is a novel solution. Remove stress from the equation and take the family to the beach for the day. No massive feast to prepare, just a picnic. No formal dining setup, just a blanket. And if anyone starts something- go for a swim. Genius.

See as Grinchy as you may want to get on the topic, there is always a solution to family feuds at Christmas. At my house it's Champagne and lots of it. Now you see why I love it!

Oh and did I mention I still get Santa presents? Don't judge me.

Merry Christmas Twenty Somethings...and all other somethings!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tick Tock...

Apologies for the blog neglect lately. I'd like to say I've been off doing something really important but the real fact of the matter is I got lazy. Oh and the silly season happened. Anyway enough excuses, today I want to talk about a different kind of time consuming venture...babies.  Sprogs, offspring, spawn- whatever your euphemism they are a huge part of a twenty something woman's life, even if she doesn't have them.

Recently a friend and I were chatting and she reckons that since turning 25 the subject of babies and when they are going to be in her life is brought up all the more often. Rather than asking about where you're going for Christmas or what you're up to this weekend, small talk suddenly becomes small person talk. Just when I thought it couldn't get any more awkward.

As us girls enter our mid to late twenties, whether we have a baby or not becomes less of an observation and more of a judgement. We are told to go to university, have an OE, start a career, get married and then suddenly drop everything to start a family. If you're not knocked up soon after these tasks have been completed then no bonus points for you in the game of life missy!

Not that this is a new observation or anything. In fact most people think that this is an outdated view what with 30 being the new 20 and all but as my friend (and many other women I'm sure) can vouch for, the prospect of child bearing is still a very real pressure on twenty somethings. We may as well get all Flava Flav on it and wear our biological clocks around our necks to deter any unwanted questioning. “Oh hey there's Sam...oh yes, she's still got a couple of years on her. Good. I won't bother asking then”.

Ofcourse there is the other side of the coin to consider. A woman at work is taking maternity leave soon and so jokingly I said “Man! I want one!”, meaning I was jealous of the time off she was getting. It was like I'd said I wanted to bomb the place. Maybe it's because I'm not 25 yet.

There must be something in the water because just last week another of my coworkers declared she is now 'with child'. No she didn't use those words, I just wanted to write that because it sounds funny. With bump is more accurate really. Anyway, with an office full of women our boss (who thinks that babies are “gay”...go figure) jokes that there IS going to be something in the water soon. On more than one occasion he's threatened to lace the water filter with some sort of liquid contraceptive. Least I won't be getting hassled by him anytime soon.

So yeah, babies. Try as I might there isn't really a resolution to this topic. Consider this entry as more of a warning to those of you verging on mid twenties territory like myself. Get a story and stick to it...or buy a clock.