Saturday, May 21

Ghosts of my family’s Christmas | Christmas

TThis week I should be recounting what I did this Christmas but, due to the wonders of seasonal deadlines, I am shelving this article for a while before anything actually happens. I mean, you don’t know me, so I could lie, but I feel like that would be contrary to the spirit of this column, if not to Christmas itself.

Instead, I’m going to make some predictions of what will have happened last week, as I think I have a good chance of getting it right. It would certainly be more accurate than that terrifying kind of A Christmas Carol whose abilities as a prophet have always bothered me. Unless you’ve largely misunderstood that story, and by this I obviously mean the infinitely superior version of the Muppets, their whole gimmick seems to have been “a lot of terrible things will happen, unless you stop being a brat.” For me, this sets him apart as less of a mystical herald and more of an Irish mummy in a Grim Reaper costume. Come back when you have the Lotto numbers, great goth.

Anyway, for obvious reasons, my family’s traditional in-person Christmas gathering was shelved this year. Instead, we schedule a monster Zoom call that, by now, will have taken place. I’m sure it was an incredibly beautiful and disconcertingly chaotic video conference, stretching our heartstrings and eardrums to the hilt.

Given that it included my 10 brothers and sisters, their partners, my father, and their 15 grandchildren, I’m pretty sure that at least 10% of those 36 participants will not have been able to get their audio working, and another 20% will. at some point, they turned off their audio on purpose. I’m not saying I did this, you understand, I’d just like to make it clear here and now that I really love hear two dozen people scream at once, but I often have problems with my laptop’s audio and this kind of thing happens all the time.

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Due to the size of our clan, we have always leaned towards the Kris Kindle for gift giving, as purchasing gifts for each individual family member would be ruinously expensive and time consuming than the process of choosing a new Pope. This year I predict that I will receive one of the four things my wife recently asked if I would like, which she only does in the name of my Secret Saint, and with all the subtlety of a brick through the window. Hopefully my brother-in-law Jimmy will have enjoyed the vinyl LPs I bought him or at least act like he liked them, even if the news of his fondness for Afrobeat and Nigerian electronica was greatly exaggerated.

Finally, my dad will have been delighted with the exalted position he assumes each year, the only person in these exchanges who receives a gift from everyone, as a kind of long-term compensation for having endured his litter of demanding and sarcastic. and hideously loud children for all these decades. Over time, we will disconnect one by one, slightly intoxicated and a bit melancholic. It’s sad that we’re apart, but I’m glad that we’ll get back together soon, even if it means not being able to turn off the audio whenever we want.

Follow Séamas on Twitter @shockproofbeats

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