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December 25th 2014
Merry Christmas! As I write this, I am with my family who are watching Miranda, a programme I have never really watched before. Personally I do not feel that I have been missing out, but since they patiently sat through Doctor Who for my benefit (actually, ironically enough, Dad slept through much of it) I can't complain too much. Indeed, it gives me the chance to muse on Christmas in the Thomas family, and how the routine hasn't really changed in recent memory. Here's how it goes: Christmas Eve sees the main Christmas meal, which is three quarters proper and one quarter vegetarian; I have one sprout and no alcohol. Crackers are pulled between main course and pudding, adopting the patented 'hold the cracker in your right hand and cross hands' technique that, now I come to think about it, everyone else probably also does and is not as peculiar to the Thomas family as I once suspected.
Oh, what I forgot to mention in all my excitement about food is that Christmas Eve afternoon sees us all at the crib service, one of many Christmas-related services that I attend each year (not, of course, as many as my Dad goes to, but then that's what he's paid for), but not one of the ones at which I play my flute. One service I never go to - well, I did once - is the midnight one, which Simon always attends and can never quite understand why I don't. But, of course, I need to make sure I get to sleep before Father Christmas comes. Which he does without fail.
Having opened stocking presents in the morning, we go to the Christmas morning service and wish a Merry Christmas to all and sundry, before returning for a meal heavily based on the constituent ingredients of the previous evening's meal; we then open the rest of the presents in early afternoon, with Mum noting them all down in a book. I'm not entirely sure why. Usually, these days, the present opening is significantly improved by having Sherpa on hand to chase balls of wrapping paper around the living room floor - although this year she decided that that's not at all the kind of thing a pussy cat of her age and respectability would do. This attitude is somewhat undermined by the amount of toy-chasing she was doing just a few minutes earlier.
The remainder of the day is not quite so regimented in tradition, but there is always a Christmas walk, and of course one of the highlights for me is leaving the room while the rest of the family watch the Queen's speech. As an act of Republicanism it is unlikely to sway many to the cause, but every little helps.
That, then, is my Christmas. Merry yours.

what was I listening to?
Now That's What I Call Xmas - Various Artists
what was I reading?
Watchmen - Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
what was I watching?
Upside Down
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