The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

MEL BUTTLE

- Mel Buttle is a Brisbane comedian

I’ve done it again – this idiot has organised nothing for Christmas. I’ve no presents, decoration­s, or lunch ideas in mind. Last Christmas Eve about midnight, the power went out, and as an extra special Christmas gift, this outage blew up my fridge. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. All the food had to be disposed of and Christmas lunch was a tightrope walk into potential gastro. After such a brilliant failure, I went to bed on Boxing Day 2019 thinking about how I would be a Christmas whiz next year.

I was going to book holiday accommodat­ion in August, this hasn’t happened, and now the cost of a place anywhere near the water on the coast is the same as a used Corolla.

So it’ll be a Christmas at home, which means more money to spend on the food, right? I’ve not pre-ordered a ham, nor seafood, nor thought about a dessert. Please tell me I’m not the only one who loves Christmas, but is totally paralysed by the responsibi­lity of it all?

Last year, we had spaghetti bolognese for lunch, it was the only salvageabl­e thing from the blackout. As I shoved forkfuls of spag bol in my gob, I thought, this is not going to happen next year. In 2020 I’ll be by the sea eating mango and prawn salad and roast chicken.

I won’t be. I’ll be at home in an inflatable pool filling up on watermelon and not wanting to start cooking lunch as it means getting out of the comfort of the blow-up pool.

I reminisced on my favourite Christmase­s – one was in Sydney with my Nana who made me a ham-off-the-bone toasted sandwich every morning, another cracker was in Camden with my Uncle Laurie, he did all these different meats on the spit. Then it hit me, the one thing all these amazing Christmas pasts have is that I didn’t have to cook, organise or be responsibl­e for a single thing. I was merely a guest. I think that’s the secret, isn’t it? To have a great Christmas you need to be invited to someone else’s celebratio­n. I’m doing all I can to score a late invite – I’m dropping hints, I’m saying, “Oh, not much” when asked what I’m up to this year.

I think the media gives us unrealisti­c expectatio­ns of the big day. Not once on an ad or movie, have I seen a mum back in her nightie straight after lunch, as a not-so-subtle hint that it’s time for the guests to rack off home. The men in Christmas movies always seem to have shirts on and never say things like, “Pauline Hanson at least has the guts to …” Stop you right there if I may, Uncle Roger.

In movies you never see anyone ask, “When are you going back to teaching, Melinda?” or, “Still having a go at comedy are ya, love?” The answers there are: when hell freezes over and yes, indeed.

I don’t actually think I love Christmas, I love something that’s somewhere in the middle of how Christmas is portrayed in movies and how it really is.

So in order to achieve the perfect Christmas I think I’ll just watch Home Alone, as is my tradition and try and get a rich family to adopt me for the day. Let me know what I can bring please.

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