‘Tis the season to be … grumpy. You might be the kind of smiley manic Christmas lover who wears battery-operated Rudolph earrings and has a 24/7 festive smile on your dial.
If so, it might be best to keep away from my house until well after Boxing Day.
Every year it’s the same. We tell ourselves to stay calm, keep cool, and don’t get carried away.
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Nothing tastes more nostalgic than a proper Christmas pudding. All that dark boozy fruit and rich suet centre… They’re the pinnacle of the festive feast and one of the last of the old school recipes that still gets passed down through the generations.
My Nana’s sago plum pudding, served alight with brandy and gold coins buried at the bottom of the dish is a firm family staple. The only problem is that because she never wrote her recipes down, re-creating it without her has required a bit of imagination.
But that’s not always the case. Just yesterday a friend posted her grandmother’s 1966 Christmas pudding recipe on Facebook.
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Handwriting has become such a lost art that even the jokes seem out of place – especially now that doctors type out their prescriptions.
And while our modern obsession with typing has made us more efficient and comparatively legible, the cost has been considerable.
Yesterday after the raid on MP Craig Thomson’s house, his lawyer, Chris McArdle said above all it was the Thomson’s “handwriting” that would prove his innocence. That’s a startlingly simple method of trial, given how sophisticated crime investigation methods have become.
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Angela is so not “me”. I’m definitely a Clementine. Maybe a Rebecca. Seraphina at a pinch, especially on the days I wear stripes and drink rosé and lounge on a yacht – which, of course, is never. But I would if I wasn’t called Angela.
Sorry, Mum, but Angela is a library monitor’s name. It’s capable and no-nonsense – which I am, I suppose. But how was I ever going to pull off whimsical with those thudding syllables? An-Ge-La. Like ‘potato’ or “phlegmatic”, it’s a word that sulks rather than skips off the tongue.
My husband is similarly burdened. Think of an English name beginning with N, popular in the ’60s and often suffixed with the expression “no friends”. Poor bugger. He’s so not his name. He’s a Tom, a Will, a Sam. A belly laugh of a man living under a dullard’s name.
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The first thing that got me excited about Christmas was how seamlessly it merged with Halloween.
One day the supermarket was full of orange, pumpkinesque loot buckets, and the next day it was filled with every Christmas symbol you can think of made from marshmallow, alongside special edition Toblerones that were tall enough to enter Grade 1. I fancied sucking on a marshmallow Madonna but they seemed to be sold out.
Next year, I will be marketing edible, orange snowmen carrying Australian flags and wearing cute little “I Luv U” T-shirts. These will be targeted at those who want to get into the spirit of things from October to February but also want to keep their spending on useless special occasion crap under control.
In a few weeks’ time, most of us will be sprawled out on the floor, muttering incoherently and licking flecks of gravy from the backs of our hands.
But not everyone will get to enjoy the holiday season - from the thousands of unimpressed cats who will spend hours desperately clawing at their “adorable” Santa hats and angel wings, to that one guy who is pretty sure everyone on his gift list wants bath salts for Christmas.
These are the people for whom we should spare a thought as we eat, drink and nap our way through a relatively stress-free and rejuvenating festive season.
Pray, for instance, for those shopping centre Jolly Red Men, who must patiently listen to the most insufferable of our spawn and force belly laughs while resisting the urge to violently shake every parent in the line who thinks an iPhone is a reasonable gift for a four-year-old.
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In a move shocking to precisely no one, Kim Kardashian, reality TV queen, perennial gossip magazine cover girl and not much else, announced yesterday that she and her husband of 72 days had filed for divorce.
From start to rapid finish Kardashian’s marriage was an exercise in attention and money-seeking.
E! paid the couple $15 million for the television rights to their wedding special show, while People magazine coughed up close to $3 million for wedding and engagement related rights. The guests were treated to a $20,000 wedding cake.
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Labels are the problem. Male or female, black or white, comedy or drama, PG-13 or R? In which section of the DVD store will this film end up? How do we market it? To whom should the product placement and the trailers before the film be skewed?
It is for these reasons that a gem like Bridesmaids receives qualified approval like “the funniest R-rated female driven comedy of all time”. There’s a glaring missed opportunity, given the ethnicity of one of the film’s leads – surely an enterprising reviewer will dub it “the funniest mixed-race buddy film R-rated female-driven romantic comedy of all time”. Perhaps with an exclamation mark or two for good measure.
Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote the film with Annie Mumolo, and a host of other Saturday Night Live alumni. At the time of writing, it has made almost US$125 million in the US alone and is one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year.
Brendan Brown writes “Hey God, reveal thyself!” and puts forward his case of “noisy atheism”.
He candidly speaks about the lack of evidence with regard to the divine and light-heartedly takes religion to task for the holes in their belief systems.
It’s a given that no evidence is currently available that supports the existence (or non existence) of god. Yet both atheists and theists continue to taunt each other for evidence.
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It wasn’t hard to get into the pageantry and fun of the royal nuptials. We even made cupcakes with crowns for our token wedding celebration. Our westie mates turned up, resplendent in top hats, medals, even a wedding dress.
Food was anything English: Yorkshire pudding, trifle, cucumber sandwiches and a steak and kidney pie.
My husband rejoiced in his English connections, while I quoted our Constitution which grants the monarch certain governing powers, even above other governing levels.
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Every time there’s a party, there is someone who misses out.
As the attending list on the cruelly public Facebook event grows, so too does their rage.
The host, they decide, is either jealous, rude, or trying to sleep with their partner/sister/all of the above. The truth, however, is that quite often the poor, uninvited soul simply doesn’t bring anything to the table. They’re boring, lame, and have a tendency to break furniture and cry after two beers and a packet of Pringles.
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As the Royal Wedding approaches, details are starting to emerge about the rules and regulations that surround an event of this magnitude.
In the past week information has been trickling through about exactly what is required of guests, beyond the traditional RSVP, and you have to wonder if it’s all actually worth it.
Recipients of an invite were greeted with more than just the time, date and dress code thanks to an accompanying 22 page guide detailing exactly how they should behave at a Royal function. What a buzz kill.
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When former Sydney real estate agent Mary Donaldson married Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik in 2004, one of the couple’s first, big post-honeymoon tasks was to sort through the monster pile of wedding gifts.
Apparently their haul included five cars (including a stretch limousine and a Saab convertible), a $200,000 yacht, six bicycles, a row boat, two Harley-Davidson motorcycle jackets, a traditional sealskin outfit from Greenland, 93 ceramic badges, a $3 million crockery set, a handcrafted Iranian rug, a miniature lounge suite for a royal baby, and a 120-kilogram stone swan.
In addition to the 37,000 gifts sent by Danish subjects, offerings from Australia included an anthology of Tasmanian love poems (from a writing centre), a stand of trees (from the government) and a hamper of Tim Tams (from Arnott’s).
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Such are the lows that society has now sunk to that within the Santa Claus persona, you have an example of almost every type of political incorrectness possible.
He embodies everything that is wrong with the world and he must be stopped no matter the cost!
I give you Exhibit A: his leather belt and boots with white fur trim.
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At this time of year – what with all that tinsel distracting us – it’s easy to lose sight of another important celebration.
That’s right - hands up if you haven’t yet erected your aluminium pole for Festivus?
Like most tragic Gen X-ers I have a ridiculous amount of Seinfeld trivia stored in my head.
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The so-called “festive season” needs a new name.
Because as it stands right now with it’s smug connotations of happiness, relaxation and general mirth-it’s terrifically misleading.
Take for instance, this incident one night last week.
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