For me, Christmas and New Year are traditionally a period of self-pity in which I lament the fact that I have no friends and am stuck at home doing nothing. It’s not helped by being Jewish, as come Christmas Day my family doesn’t really do anything, and since I don’t drive and there’s no public transport, the tradition has been to sit around doing fuck-all. Things have picked up in recent years – my girlfriend is Christian so I get to vicariously enjoy the birth of Jesus and eat some duck. I even went to midnight mass last year, which was a bizarre experience.
This year has been better than normal. My New Years Resolution for 2008 was to be more sociable and maybe those hard-fought attempts to leave the house and occasionally phone friends have paid off, because I enjoyed a relatively busy festive period.
There’s been Christmas parties and booze-ups aplenty. Last week I went to drinks at The Big Green Bookshop and met two real life authors who bought my book and asked me to sign it for them. Which made me feel simultaneously proud and horribly self-conscious. I’ve now forgotten the authors’ names, which is a shame as I feel I should return the favour and buy their books as well.
Christmas Day itself, a joyous trip to Hendon to eat falafel (my brother-in-law drove us over there). All the Jewish shops/caffs were actually open, which was good. My girlfriend, having grown up in a falafel-free environment, was especially pleased. And then in the evening we went round to some friends who had cooked a proper Christmas dinner, with sprouts and potatos and everything. We pulled crackers and I won some kind of spinning-top that my non-Jewish hosts insisted was a dreidel. Suckers.
We even played Mario-Cart and Trivial Pursuit, as Jesus probably did in biblical times. So, aside from the indigestion and the lingering cold I have, I’m feeling quite festive.
I still have no plans for New Year, but as long as I’m not watching Jools Holland’s Fuckananny, I’ll be happy enough.
Apologies to everyone who I have miserably failed to keep in contact with this year. I’ll try harder in 2009.