i have adventures (sometimes)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Capslock and Tinsel

Christmas feels Christmassier when it's winter. Maybe it's because all my previous Christmases this side of the equator have been while I've been away on holiday, and so it all feels that much more exciting. Or maybe it's because Christmas imagery is so entirely Northern hemisphere-centric that despite the fact that I've lived my whole life in South Africa, I'm still a little sceptical of hot Christmases.

I see no snowmen here.

I was pretty prepared to be cynical about Christmas this year. I thought I'd reached a stage of not getting excited about it any more, and I put it down to growing up.

And then the Christmas lights went up. And my whole brain turned into capslock draped in tinsel.



And I had to admit that, yes, I really do like Christmas. I like it quite a lot.

I really like Christmas. 
It's sentimental, I know, but I just really like it...
And yes, I have all of the usual objections
To consumerism, the commercialisation of an ancient religion
To the westernisation of a dead Palestinian
Press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer
But I still really like it.

- Tim Minchin

I went on a decoration-buying spree at the pound store and bought festive pipe cleaners and Christmas lights and a tiny Christmas tree and tinsel and baubles and MORE tinsel, all of which I divided up between my hair and the kitchen. I now have the most festive hair and the most festive kitchen that ~*~ANYONE HAS EVER HAD IN THE WHOLE WORLD EVER~*~.

Sorry, capslock and tinsel attack.

I also bought deligtfully tacky snowman earrings, which I fully intend to wear for the rest of the month.

Because nothing says "class" like pound store snowman earrings.

I was then left wondering where to go to get my Christmas carol fix, a problem I've had more or less since I finished school and stopped having to spend most of the third term getting heartily sick of carols. So when Jelle sent me a message to say that he had a free ticket to a carol concert at the Minster, I said a great big capslock-and-tinsel ~*~YES!!~*~

(I should distinguish here between Christmas carols and Christmas songs. Christmas carols are the ones that turn my heart all fuzzy and make me want to burst into descants I can't really sing and wish goodwill to all people. Christmas songs are the ones that make me turn up the volume on my mp3 player to hearing-damaging volume when I'm at the gym because otherwise I'll be able to hear them.*)

Anyway, the concert was delightful. It was so cold that I nearly died (I thought I was being a drama queen, but when I got up the next day, the lake was frozen. Vindication!), but the concert was wonderful. I saw the inside of the Minster for the first time (normally you have to pay, and, hello - student), the choir was good, the band was great, and we got to sing carols with gusto, which is more or less all I want from life December.

See? It was cold.

And then I made nerdy mince pies with nerdy awesome people! We got so busy talking about all the important things in life (Doctor Who, Sherlock, feminist rage, Darren Criss, the increasing awfulness of Glee despite Darren Criss, linguistics, musicals, Darren Criss again) that we totally forgot to play Bananagrams and we had to make a Bananagrams and Sherlock date for the new year.

We're so industrious!
Fiiiiiiive IPA symbols!

My classmates and I discussed decorating the lab**, but decided that it would be much more depressing to come back to it in January if it was looking too festive. So we settled for a £1 Secret Santa and a festive group hug in which we blocked up a door and accidentally barricaded all the MAs in the phonetics classroom.

I got pot pourri in little glasses! My room no longer smells of damp laundry! It really is Christmas!
We're a pretty cool bunch.

Even more Christmas ensued at Gilbert & Sullivan soc's last rehearsal of the term. After a runthrough that stopped being a runthrough halfway when we realised that no one wanted to be there all night, we went to the bar, where there was a piano, and spent the rest of the evening singing increasingly noisy carols in four parts. We were so popular that quite a few people didn't even get up and leave.

Although that may have been because we were blocking the way out.

Then suddenly, Christmas dinner!

So much Christmas!

We did our usual trick of bringing lots and lots of excellent food and then sitting around and eating it, except that this time we did it with crackers and hats (and more cranberry sauce than usual). I also introduced my friends to one of the simpler versions of cracker drill, a tradition in my family which has to be carried out before anyone's allowed to pull their first cracker.

Step 4: Cross over. Step 5: Relinquish fond hope that you have a chin.

It scares me a little that my time here is passing so fast. I love it here, and I love this huge, crazy, international family I've found, and I love York and my course and my classmates and my nerdy mince pie friends and, yes, I really freaking love Christmas (~*~AND TINSEL~*~).

And as much as I want it all to be forever, I know it can't be. It makes me a little sad when I think about it, but it also makes me appreciate my time here all the more.

Forever makes everything meaningless.

But Christmas hats make everything awesome!

We want YOU... to have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

What can I say? It's sentimental, I know. But I just really like it.

*White Wine in the Sun is therefore a carol. Ok, so the definition needs work.
**I really enjoy saying "the lab". It makes us sound a lot more like real scientists than we actually are.


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