How to really really irritate me…

1. Tell me “we’re getting in first” (even though I believe they said the following last Christmas) and that Christmas is at their place this year.

2. Get an email telling us we’ve all agreed (really, I don’t remember any conversation, let alone a conversation on this) we’re all doing Kris Kringle present giving this year (for adults) but instead of spending, say $100, on the person you get (which my recollections of conversations we had about it last Christmas) but $20-$30. Tell me, WHAT do you get of any calibre outside the range of bathroom products (that normally result in a rash of some nature) or the hideous Grey Flannel gift set (or female equivalent) for that kinda money. I had planned to give each family or individual a hamper of home-made products (ie that I had made) and someone please tell me they’d rather have a loofer and hideous bath gel over a Kim home-made hamper of mini-Christmas cake, shortbread, jam, onion marmalade, quince relish, or other such morsels? who? Who? WHO?

Oh – and say that we’ll all buy presents for the kids because that’s what Christmas is about (ah no – last time I looked it was actually about this guy called Jesus) – and then set the limit at $10, TEN dollars.

Here ends the lesson on how to look generous but be really REALLY cheap all at the same time.

3. Then, send an i.n.v.i.t.a.t.i.o.n. to Christmas Day – an invitation! As if its someone’s (as in, not Jesus’) birthday. WITH an attached sheet of the menu – already partially filled in with names of those you actually bothered to talk to about it – with space to next to something to bring. What I love is that the things that are left are either ludicrously expensive (seafood) or time consuming (Christmas Cake/pudding).

SO – I would like it known here and now – I will have a n.e.w.b.o.r.n. baby. We will have T.H.R.E.E. children. Chef works virtually e.v.e.r.y. single day from November to February, except Christmas Day. So if you want my bleeding netherbits, if you want my engorged breasts, if you want the lactating cow to be at your place on Christmas day with her family – this is NOT how you go about it.
1. This family AIN’T GOING ANYWHERE THIS CHRISTMAS (short of maybe going camping to avoid all the family crap I endure EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR. of the nature outlined above).

2. Any of our family and friends are more than welcome to call in at.any.time. throughout the day and will not be expected (or WORSE – ALLOCATED) to bring anything.

You will receive love, good cheer, a glass (or several) of some alcoholic celebratory beverage, and food that could be anything from seafood to a BBQ and salads to a traditional boiled Christmas pudding with Chef’s remarkable brandy custard (this is the one thing I can not give up, even if it is 40 degrees in the shade and 99 per cent humidity… there must be Christmas pudding and custard).

3. IF you call in and we’re not here, can I suggest you wander the 200 metres or so to the beach, where you will probably find us trying out new boogie boards and attempting to limit the amount of sand accidentally ingested by the baby.

Here endeth the lesson.