Ho ho ho and welcome to another festive fuelled frolic through the world of all that is sexy.
Please forgive my drop in blogs of late…between my birthday in late November and New Year’s eve, I generally get caught up in a whirlwind of frantic traditional activities, giving me little time for leisure writing. As I sit here with my cup of tea, hiding from the list of things to do, I have been pondering the ways in which Christmas seems to blend a mixture of romance, lust, classic tradition with modern frenzied chaos to the jolly holiday we know and love.
As seen in my last post, the Office Christmas Party is just one example…potential fun boozy night out that frequently descends into a lusty, urgent, depraved drunken orgy of photocopier sex, and red faces in the New Year. But indeed, there are many more. The nights out in town surrounded by mini skirted elves, slutty santas, and strategically placed sprigs of holly, which start with smiles and small white wines, and end with someone sobbing in the ladies toilets. The inevitable politics of when to spend which days with which side of the family…frequently decided by where the spare room is located, and which bed has the worst squeak. The question of what to buy for each other, how much to spend, and if the theme should be your version of sexy, or hers.
After putting Christmas Sex into Google, and, thanks to Urban Dictionary, ruining White Christmas forever, I’ve decided to stay on the cleaner side of things today.
I asked a family member about this…why she thought Christmas was particularly bad, she pointed out the statistics from the last major UK snow storm. A few years ago, when we all got snowed in, with bad TV signal, bad transport, and no way to get to work, the country practically shut down…and 9 months later there was a baby boom. She reminded me that before Christmas was turned into a celebration of the birth of Christ, people naturally got together at this time of year. Cattle would be slaughtered, so there would be fresh meat. Wine and beer would be fermented and ready to drink, and the ancient peoples wanted to celebrate the fact that from now on, the nights would get shorter. What better way to keep warm and cosy than by bedding down with the nearest Anglo-Saxon?
I laughed at this, until she reminded me that 9 months before my birthday was the middle of winter, and that the early 1980s were bloody cold too. After recovering from the shudders that followed (you do the maths!), I have to admit that I find it a comforting thought that ye olde Brits, rather than struggling through the winter months fighting commuters on the Tube, striding around Tesco with a snotty nose, and putting together presentations that will inevitably be ignored because it’s the day of the office party, they used to bed down and enjoy themselves. What better excuse than a good old mid-winter knees up to cheer you up?
If the easy supply of warm bodies, good food and freshly brewed booze wasn’t enough to get you in the mood, then you could have always relied on the good old Viscum album, or European Mistletoe to get a snog. Some claim that the origin of the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe goes back to ancient Norse mythology. According to the legend, a goddess named Frigg had a son named Baldr. When he was born, she made all plants unable to hurt him. Yet she overlooked the mistletoe plant, and a god known for his mischief, Loki, tricked another god into killing Baldr with a spear made of mistletoe. The gods eventually brought Baldr back to life, and Frigg declared that mistletoe would bring love rather than death into the world. People then kissed under the mistletoe to obey the goddess, as well as to remember Baldr’s resurrection.
Considered a holy plant by the ancient druids, Mistletoe was adapted into the new Christian culture in Europe around 3rd century AD, although it is unclear when people started kissing under it. The earliest documentation of the mistletoe kiss dates from 16th century England, and traditionally if a young man met a lady under a sprig of Mistletoe, he was allowed to kiss her, and had to pluck a berry from the plant. Once the berries were gone, the kissing privileges were removed.
It may seem rather tame by today’s standards, but I do remember a few years ago, the incredible teenage angst caused by the mistletoe kiss between Harry Potter and Cho Chang, in The Order of the Phoenix. I was secretly pleased at the time that in a world where kids grow up bombarded by sexual images and nothing seems to shock, that their collective hearts were set a fluttering by a simple kiss under the mistletoe.
If you fail to find mistletoe in time for Christmas, there is always a last minute reprieve a week later with New Year’s Eve. In some Western cultures, it is a custom for people to kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. I am pleased to say that midnight of the year 2000 found me dressed up, tipsy, and snogging the face off a (probably unsuitable) young man from school.
I’ve tried to recreate that moment every year, though thankfully, before anyone starts singing Mrs Robinson, 18 year old school boys haven’t featured for quite a while. 🙂 Some kisses were nice, some were sloppy, and one was damn right gross…too much tongue and not enough restraint! But I don’t regret those kisses, even the bad ones.
There’s something about a kiss at New Year, feeling arms wrap around you and holding you close…it’s that split second when the problems of the last 12 months seem to fall away, and the promise of the next year is so bright and shiny…possibly because I’ve drunk too much, and the light bouncing off the tinsel is making me dizzy, but maybe there is something there, at the stroke of midnight, that we all instinctively reach out to.
P.S If you’re going to look up “White Christmas” don’t do it near children or older relatives. 🙂