A Very Special XMash Take Five.

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 ho ho

Season to be merry? Season to take a machine gun to the streets a la Michael Douglas more like. “Can anybody tell me what’s wrong with this picture?!” A heartfelt ‘Bah Humbug’ from all here at rabble towers!



1. Christmas Jumpers

This pursuit was, until recently, confined only to the realm of cute grandads and Gay Byrne. Not, unfortunately, anymore. The silly christmas jumper has become a rampant scourge of our nation, and has succeeded, along with the recent import of ‘The Twelve Pubs of Christmas’, in rendering the first three and a half weeks of December completely unbearable for anyone looking for a good old fashioned Yuletide knees-up. You know the ones.Travel in packs. Not too bright.

Inclination towards mind-numbing subservient occupations. A startling lack of experience with alcohol. Total messes within three hours. This is a fairly recent phenomenon, and one can’t help but think, “How could you possibly think that what you are doing is humourous, you twats?” as they pour in the door, all jumper and antler, wrapped in a tangle of fairy lights, flashing more than a French pervert.

Oh for the days way back when (aka four years ago), that one could simply enjoy a yuletide ale in some cosy tavern without being surrounded by dickheads.


2. The Twelve Pubs

See above and add vomit. Some local hostelries are operating a strict ‘No 12 Pubs of Christmas’ policy much to the delight of their regular customers.



3. Midnight Mass

It doesn’t matter that you’re 35, an atheist and a militant pro-choicer. When it come to xmas mass the umbilical cord might as well never been cut. The only compromise in this entrenched, unwinnable war is midnight Mass. Not only does this keep the family, the ones that didn’t get out, happy but it allows you to spend the six hours beforehand lashing back pints, catching up with your mates who stayed in the village and avoiding that third cousin you snogged at the school disco in fourth year.

The only draw back is one pint too many and you’ll raise up in a Lady MacBeth like un-sex me now moment just as the body of Christ is hoisted above the congregated to denounce their hypocrisy, regale them with a litany of the Catholic Churches abuses and rip your bodice asunder. Now try explaining that to the Mammy over the fry tomorrow morning. Or you could be lucky and be a Protestant.



4. Boxes of Roses/selection boxes

Chocolate. Where would we be without chocolate? Well with lower rates of diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease probably. But who doesn’t like a tooth-curling treat after you’ve had the turkey and ham dinner, pudding and custard, boozy coffees with cream and a few pints? Sure it’s only the one. Only it isn’t, is it?

One Superman V and a Mary Poppins later the blood sugar levels are through the roof. The only thing more terrifying than the palpitations and manic giggling is the knowledge that in half an hour you’re going to be a headachy, mess sobbing ‘don’t look at me’ as they come crashing down.



5. Corned Beef

Not the lard encrusted stuff you get from a can, and your gran could get a dozen sangwiches and a dinner’s worth of fritters outta, but the spice encrusted variety favored by the Irish as part of their xmas gluttony. The further south, into the land of the grazier class be-jaysus, you go the more likely you are to be served up a plate of this festive delicacy. Apparently this carnivorous treat has ancient antecedent.

Back in the 12th century when the bards walked bare chested and proud, their locks flowing in the wind surrounded by bare-breasted maidens, Kings used to eat corned beef, along with imported wine and olives… while the rest of the plebs got buttermilk or something.

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