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A Post In The Key of Boxing Day

Twas the night after Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring except for the food baby, whose cries were growing steadily in intensity and pitch as the night wore on, sending shivers of guilt through anyone who heard them as they reflected on the various animals they had consumed the previous day and the extra helping of Grandma’s trifle that had seemed like an excellent idea at the time but over the course of 24 hours had twisted itself into something that tasted only of regret…

Christmas came…and are you feeling satisfied? Maybe you should call the number on that billboard that promises LONGER LASTING XMAS. Apparently it’s in a nasal delivery spray (because everyone knows that a man who uses a nasal spray during foreplay is going to have the best sex of his life).

These days the build-up to Christmas is always a drawn out affair that seems to take months (if you start counting the days from the first appearance of Christmas items in the supermarket in mid-May), only for the day in question to disappear faster than those last few slices of pork on your plate. Christmas has performance anxiety. It’s a 15-year-old boy who’s just got a girlfriend and who has been holding out for a glimpse of some boobies, only to get ‘over-excited’ at the final second and end the whole party waaaay to early.

However fleeting it is, the feeling of Christmas is the plot of the film The Purge. It’s 24 hours where diets and calorie counting are thrown out the window and everyone turns into Biggest Loser contestants on a binge and is suddenly excellent at cricket. And while this seems like Grinch-esque cynicism, I promise that it’s wrapped in tinsel and secretly believing in Santa Claus, because I love Christmas. It’s a great holiday and despite the usual grumps whining about traffic and petrol prices and commercialism , it’s a time of happiness (real or feigned) and family (real or feigned). But as with all great parties and binges there must come a ‘day-after’ and with Christmas it’s a one-two punch hangover special.

Boxing Day (besides being named after all the leftover cardboard and/or pugilism) is the warped incest baby of Christmas (because it’s not Christmas until someone mentions incest, right??). It takes many of the key aspects of Christmas and turns them on their head, and not in a hilarious sitcom way. No. Not like that at all.

4 Ways Boxing Day Will Break Your Heart And Your Christmas Spirit.

1. Eating without Consequence
Boxing Day arrives with a sad look in the mirror as the memories of wolfing down a third helping of potatoes and lamb rattle to the surface and your reflection gives you a look that says: I wasn’t even sure we could consume that much pudding. What was acceptable yesterday suddenly makes you ill today. And the justifications of ‘but everyone else was eating just as much’ do little to assuage your guilt and instead make you sound like a Nazi on trial for war crimes. This state of roast regret results in your previous New Year’s resolution of “Be happy and finish that one-act play you’re writing” become replaced with “Eat only spinach and quinoa”. Which is nowhere near as fun and involves eating a food that’s spelt like someone with no limbs fell onto a typewriter.
(Note: This is also compounded by the almost zombie-like consumption of any candies/chocolates that you were gifted yesterday until your fingers scrape bare cardboard and you think, “What’s that sound?” Sadness. That is the sound of sadness.)

2. Being Social with People
Even the craziest of cat ladies enjoys the company of actual people on Christmas Day. Swapping gifts with far-flung relatives and checking out your distant cousin’s hot foreign girlfriend. It’s all part of the fun of the day. However as the sun rises on Boxing Day morning and you decide to participate in some casual shopping or even just a coffee out in public, every single feeling of goodwill towards your fellow man is suddenly and violently replaced with a bubbling hatred that is threatening to spill out and bathe the streets in blood. Especially that woman with the pram ahead of you who has ignored the sign that says no prams and is now stuck on the escalator causing a backlog of sweaty, angry people trying to get their hands on discount perfume. It also becomes evident as you silently plot the death of everyone around you that no-one received spatial awareness for Christmas…

3. Buying Things
Some people argue that Christmas has gotten too commercialised (albeit they do this from their newly received iPhones) and yes there is an element of capitalism that has attached itself to Christmas’ green and red husk. But everyone loves it. Buying the perfect present, getting the perfect present or just getting stuff in general. It’s fun and it means I don’t have to buy any underwear for at least another year. And yet once again Boxing Day takes this m and turns it a commercialised juggernaut were the hero of the story is $anta Clau$$$ and his ‘Make It Rain-deer’. I talked briefly above about the insanity that sweeps the streets during Boxing Day sales, but it’s so absurd that it deserves its own category. The fact that some people do Boxing Day sales instead of an actual Christmas Day is also just disturbing… Basically if you’re buying a TV before the sun comes up there’s something wrong with you. The other thing about this is the idea of ‘saving money’ with these ‘great deals’. Some people queue up for hours outside a store that sells $1000 plus crystals. Why? Because there’s a discount, Duh! Great! So you only have to mortgage half the house in order to buy that giant glittering swan riding a unicorn… Although I did take advantage of them mad mad sales, because who can resist a giant red sticker saying: SALE!?

4. Being “Good” At Cricket
A proud tradition of the Australian Christmas is the annual game of backyard/beach/riverside/bush cricket. A game where the rules are simple: If you hit grandma you’re never playing again. Now I’m not very good at basically most things involving moving at a speed, catching and throwing, good use of hand-eye co-ordination and generally exerting myself BUT for one glorious day it doesn’t really matter how good you are, if you make an excellent catch that gets your uncle out…you may as well be Superman. It’s a wonderful thing. And then what happens on Boxing Day? The actual cricket. And you’re suddenly reminded of how terrible you are at hitting a ball and running back and forth. Although funnily enough the key rule is still the same: If you hit grandma you’re never playing again.

But soon Boxing Day will be over and then it will be New Year’s Eve and then 2014…and oh my god how did that happen? How did the year slip past unnoticed like that? I’m going to investigate. Here…have some leftover lamb, I know you want to.

Merry Boxing Day
Treed.

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