Tiptoe, Through the Tulips

If you’re reading this, give a cheer! You’ve made it through the end of the world, then Christmas, and finally Die of Boredom Boxing Day. Yay!

Let’s have a close look at these dates, in reverse order.

First, Boxing Day. It’s the day we  wake up, perhaps feeling a little under the weather, depending on how much champagne we imbibed the day before or whether we lucked out and had to be the “designated driver”.  The day when we all stare into the fridge and ask the time-worn question, how many different ways can one serve left-over ham?* The day we (or some of us) spend wandering lethargically from room to room in someone else’s house, (because we stayed overnight after the Christmas festivities) and there is an expectation that we’ll stay until “after lunch”** on day 2 of the Official Family Fun Season.

If you’re Australian, Boxing Day is all about either Boxing Day Sales or Sport. If you are not interested in either of those, it’s all about Boredom.

Sports Lovers can stay home and watch “The Test” – the traditional first day of the first Cricket Test Match at the MCG. Or they can switch channels and watch the start of the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Or, if you have pay TV, apparently there are also the televised Boxing Day Horse Races. My partner’s father has pay TV.

Given the abundance of sports-lovers in this country, it’s clearly inevitable that people who have no interest in watching any form of sport on TV, are out of luck, and fated to end up at some point on Boxing Day, sitting in a room with relatives or in-laws, staring at a TV screen featuring some type of sport.

(Watching sport on TV holds no interest for me in general, but, honestly, watching yachts race on TV must be equivalent to watching a pack of excited gardeners commentate on whose grass is growing the fastest?! There’s a low-cost idea, Channel 10!)

Ah, Boxing Day. It’s also the day when you ask yourself, come evening, when you are finally in your own home again –  is it wise to start writing a new post after 3 glasses of sparkling wine?*

Second achievement, dear readers: we got through Christmas Day. I don’t think I need to say much about this. We all go through it every year, and we all have our different versions of it. I don’t mind the family get-together with immediate family members, it’s usually quite nice once we are actually there, it’s only the driving and logistics that make that part a bore. With families living approximately 2 hours drive away, our alternatives are: either spend 4 hours driving and someone doesn’t drink, or stay overnight and then be stuck at someone else’s house on the most boring day of the year, wandering aimlessly from room to room. (see above).

What I was not so riveted by this year was the party on Christmas evening with my partner’s non-immediate family: as if that wouldn’t be difficult enough in itself, his aunts insist on hosting a DRY party! (DRY meaning, no alcohol, for those of you who thought I meant that parties in Australia are always held at the beach, in the water). We were obliged to go because we were staying with his parents, who were attending it. (see above for more on being stuck at other people’s homes over this period)

And last, but certainly not least, dear readers, on December 21 we all got through the end of the world, again. As you will all have realised by now, the world did not end on 21 December after all, which makes this end of the world pretty much in line with all the other ends of the world so far, along with the scare about the Y2K bug at the end of the millennium.

Of course, the Mayans didn’t actually say that the world would end on December 21. It was just the tabloid newspapers that chose to run with that sensationalised interpretation of the Mayans’ predictions.

What the Mayans actually said was that December 21 would mark a significant turning point in the way that humans lived. They were hinting to us that after December 21, 2012, people will finally become so bored with reading mundane status updates on Facebook, frustrated by the ever-changing Facebook rules, and irritated by the “sponsored” advertising that pop up in their Facebook newsfeed, that they will all stop using Facebook, and go back to writing letters (or “hardcopies,” as we’ve come to know them), and looking through photo albums (or “Instagram”, as we’ve come to know it.)

Thus, December 21, 2012 marked the end of the era that will come to be known in history as the Facebook era, (2004 – 2012). The official calendar will start again from this time onwards, and although we will call it 2013, the date will be recorded in history books (or “timelines,” as we now know them) by our descendents as the year 1FB.

I must say, I’m glad the world didn’t end, because it would have been really annoying that I’d gone to the trouble of doing all my Christmas Shopping before 21st, and not spent it stockpiling bottles of water and tins of spam.

So all that’s left is the over-hyped New Year’s Eve to get through, people.

Come on, let’s all take a deep breath – we can do it!


*Answers to the quiz questions above: there are approximately 365 different ways to serve left-over ham, and, no, starting a new post after 3 glasses of red sparkling wine is not a good idea, but finishing it and publishing it is even worse.

**Independent studies have shown that Boxing day is, in fact, the longest day in the year, approximately 3.5 hours longer than any other day, and that all those extra hours occur before lunch time, making “After Lunch” on Boxing Day the equivalent of waiting until about 5.30pm before you can leave your relative’s house.

PS – I was going to do some hand-drawn graphs to illustrate the statistics sited in this post but I haven’t had time – and today I’m way too tired to conceptualise a graph! Maybe instead of a next post I’ll just add some pictures to this post!


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  1. Only 360something days to go!


  2. Hate those sponsored advertisements too! I really thought you Aussies had water and beach Christmas parties… What a shame!


  3. Well, I wasn’t really worried the world would end, but I did think about opening all my Christmas presents beforehand, just to be on the safe side.


  4. luckykaye

     /  January 2, 2013

    A DRY party on Christmas evening…..good grief – My sympathies! My 90 year old mum can never remember the name of facebook. This christmas she called it faceache by mistake. It will be faceache in our house for ever more I think! Happy new year to you and yours.


    • Thanks for your sympathies! I’ve been working hard to compensate for the dry party ever since. Sounds like a perfect Freudian slip on your mum’s part!


  5. You’ve clearly never spent Christmas with my family. It’s always a dry event, which may be why it has become Annual Family Fight Day. That bit where most families are in a food coma after lunch? That’s when the bickering begins, closely followed by The Day We Start Talking to Each Other Again – usually through dry comments about the opening of the boxing day test. Yep, our family reconciles by sitting in stony silence broken only by criticisms of batting technique (“I could have hit that”), bowling ability (“How did this guy get a game? They should have picked -insert suitable Victorian bowler’s name- instead of him”), or crowd attendance (“what are they chanting?” “You are a wanker.” “Why are they saying that?” “Because security took the beach ball.” “Oh. … Why did they have a beach ball?”)



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