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13th December 2014

Does Christmas change as we age?

If you are currently going through the stage of Christmas losing its sparkle, then have no fear; for Harry Newton is here to remind you of the Christmas wonders only adults can enjoy!

Christmas as a child is the most beautiful time. I remember it vividly:  “Holidays are coming, holidays are coming, holidays are coming.” It had begun, the Coco-Cola advert signalled the start of anticipation for Christmas day!

Each day I grew forever more animated at the prospect of a morbidly obese bearded man stumbling down my non-existent chimney and leaving presents that only he and I would know are suitable, due to my list that my parents obviously posted. He would then deliver to the rest of the entire globe in a completely plausible fashion.

In the days leading up I would cut out snowflakes, make papier-mâché snowmen, and play Christmas songs each and every moment of each and every day. The day that we would buy the tree was always my favourite as I’d weigh up each tree in my mind and choose the largest tree available. Christmas was the best time of the year.

Then Christmas took a few blows. I realised that my hand-made snowflakes were actually just making a mess; my papier-mâché snowman was never as good as Lucy Jackson’s; that Christmas songs have been the same seven songs in circulation since 1986—except for the yearly resurrection of Mariah Carey’s festive career; and that the biggest Christmas tree I chose was always swapped when I wasn’t looking for the cheaper one that would fit through the front door.

But at least I still had Santa Claus—my trusty companion.

Then came that day I’ll never forget. It was a Tuesday and it was raining. This was the day I was told by my parents about Father Christmas’ sudden death of natural causes. I understood; he was over 2000 years old and death at such an age was a reasonable notion.

I negotiated with my parents and we came to a mutual agreement that they would continue in the place of Father Christmas with a smaller budget, as they don’t have the enterprise, infrastructure, magical prowess, cheap labour of the Elven kind or the economies of scale that he did. It just wasn’t the same.

Christmas had lost its sparkle, Santa was gone; the amount of Lynx Africa sets trebled; and The Muppets’ Christmas Carol just wasn’t funny anymore. Surely it was only going to get worse from here.

Christmas was dead. Or was she?  No, never! A quick reboot on the defibrillator and Christmas is back, bigger and better than ever. If you are currently going through the stage of Christmas losing its sparkle, then have no fear because I am here to remind you of the Christmas wonders only an adult can enjoy!

Christmas dinner is something I only came round to in Christmas’ second spell in my life as I and my taste-buds matured. On the 25th of December 2003, at the tender age of seven, I had simply had enough of sprouts and turkey, so went to the freezer in a tantrum and took a frozen pizza to my plate.

After being told that this was not acceptable behaviour, I followed suite with a bigger tantrum, which led to me having a ham and pineapple pizza for Christmas dinner. Looking back I’m ashamed of myself for not realising Christmas dinner’s potential wonders! Now I’m old enough to appreciate the wonders of pigs in blankets, carrots, asparagus, mash, Yorkshire puddings, turkey, and gravy smothering it all!

If there’s one thing better than opening presents, it’s watching other people open the loving presents that you bought them or the extra small condoms you wittily bought your mate for Secret Santa. As a child buying other people presents was a sin but now you can buy everyone presents with your student loan. It definitely should not be going towards furthering your education. And here we are in Manchester—the Christmas market capital of the world. Embrace it, embrace all the Christmas shopping!

Lest we forget about the joyous Christmas parties that pop-up in the run up to the holidays! It’s no longer a case of a hot dog and a fizzy Vimto on the school disco dance floor, before I knee-slide my way over to the girl in the pink tutu, now it’s a real party.

Whether it’s putting on a Christmas jumper to go out with your friends from your class, halls or societies; or putting on your best clothes to go out with your colleague, family or mates back home; Christmas parties are simply completely and utterly different to other parties! The best nights out are had over Christmas as everyone winds down and relaxes. Late night kebabs and cheap vodka have replaced the semi-cooked hot-dog and fizzy Vimto from the bowling alley.

The world of Bob the Builder Christmas Specials is now over. We get to stay up late and watch the dirty Christmas specials that you did not even know existed.

Now we get to stay up drinking with Nana and Grandad while they tell you what a horrible cretin your parents were.

Now, New Year’s Eve is not just the night you’re let loose on the babysitter, it’s the night you let loose on the town!

Now a tenner in a card is much more appreciated than a toy!

Now Christmas is bigger and better than ever.

So, go out, ice skate, shop, drink, fall in love (like Hugh Grant apparently does every Christmas), go to Nandos, watch Frozen (because we haven’t grown up completely and nor should we), resurrect your Christmas-oriented skills (or if you’re Mariah Carey, your career) because this is Christmas’ prime age and you should embrace it.

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