Since I started this quest fifty-three days ago, what to do on Christmas day had always been in the back of my mind. It’s a day for sharing with the family and sticking to tradition, so going bungee jumping or doing something weird with the turkey didn’t seem appropriate. I decided I wanted to do something simple that embodied the Christmas spirit of giving.
I was staying at my Grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve, as we would be celebrating Christmas at my Auntie’s place just down the road. I was partly brought up by my grandparents, so spent a lot of my childhood at their home. Whenever I stayed over they’d always cook me breakfast, I distinctly remember the way my Nan would yell from the kitchen downstairs “breakfast’s ready!” I decided, for the first time in my life, I’d get up early and make breakfast for my Grandparents as a gesture of thanks for my spoilt lazy childhood. I went to bed excited about the next morning – and not because Santa was coming.
The next day I awoke to the familiar sound of “breakfast’s ready”. I’d overslept – Bugger!
After guiltily eating breakfast, I looked through the Christmas TV guide to see what was on. Again, I’m aware how spoilt and lazy I’m coming across. I remember Christmas Television always being exciting as most of the license payers’ money was splashed out by the BBC on showing big budget movies. Nowadays, as there are hundreds of digital channels and movies on demand, it’s slightly lost its appeal; However, I did notice in the listings that the Queen’s Christmas speech was on at 3pm. I never really watched the Queen’s annual televised message to her minions, so I just hoped I wouldn’t have a festive snooze after Christmas lunch and sleep through another opportunity to do something I’d never done before.
The Queen’s Speech is written by Her Majesty herself, apparently it’s one of the few times in the year she’s allowed to air her own personal views. The ten minute royal broadcast opened with a picture of Buck House and the sound of the national anthem, so I stood as one should, whilst the rest of family asked if it was time for dessert yet. As the Queen talked, she reminisced about the year she’d had, speaking of Prince George the new addition to her family, but the more she went on the more I switched off. She seemed to me (as your servant, I apologise your Majesty) to lack any genuine connection to the words she spoke, I was desperate to feel a sense of real emotion, but perhaps that’s just the British stiff upper lip she is meant to epitomize. After the speech finished I sat down and wondered whether when Prince William and Harry, as children, stayed at Buckingham Palace, their grandmother would shout up the stairs “Breakfast’s ready” – I doubt it.
In conclusion: I don’t mind that we have a monarchy, but I wish they’d lighten up a bit; it’s Christmas for God’s sake.