Holidays, a word everyone loves!
Holidays, with their long mornings in bed,
Holidays, with their specially-cooked meals.
Holidays, with the outings with friends,
Holidays, with the family reunions.
The markets that smell of smoke and drinks,
The laughs, the shouts, the music,
All in a multi-coloured pandemonium,
From winter solstice to the Feast of Fools,
A endless celebration of the light that’s yet to come.
So eat, and drink, and dance, and be merry,
In but a month it’ll all be gone.
Ah…drama. The inevitable result of combination of family reunions, overeating and disappointing presents. What do I speak of? Boxing Day! You know, when the high from the partying and Christmas cheer are over and you are left to clean the house, store away the atrocious sweater that great-aunt you’ve never seen before gave you and nit-pick everything that you heard in the past two days, all the while nursing a hangover. Charming.
Personally, I’ve always imagined family reunions as miniatures of a United Nations conference. Add the word dinner and it’s practically a convention (complete with souvenirs)! You have the people you are glad to see again, those that are just meh, the new-arrivals (new babies or cousins visiting from out of town) and of course the once you dread to face. And face them you will. Armed with only a plate of nibbles and a glass of wine, you’ll have to fix a smile and answer politely to their comments, all the while trying not to look like you’re looking for the nearest exit. It’s not even that they mean to annoy you. No, that’s what makes it worse! They are genially interested, but when it is the nth time you have to explain what you’re studying, what sort of job can you even find with your degree or –my personal favourite- is there someone special in your life and when exactly are you planning on settling down… -rage quit-
Let us all be thankful that the alcohol is monitored in this sort of gathering (what with kids zapping around everywhere) or the responses to those questions would no doubt be far less diplomatic and far, far more honest. No, I’m not a Grinch. No, I don’t despise family functions (although if anyone asks me again what high-paying job I can get with a Lit degree I will not be held responsible for my actions). Heck, I don’t even complain for getting socks as a Christmas gift! Good socks are more expensive than you’d assume. So what’s with the title?
Well, think about it: a special time/place setting, a specific cast of characters whom we like to various degrees, the exchange of rehearsed lines and actions. As good ol’Will said: “All the worlds a stage.”
Give me an audience and I will deliver.