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I Love Chrsitmas

by John Connolly

I love Christmas, and even though it makes better copy to print misery I can honestly say, hand on heart, I’ve never had a bad one. True, the Christmas gods have tried to spoil my festivities on more than one occasion. One year my Riley 6’ x 3’ snooker table didn’t turn up until May, didn’t bother me as I had a Sony Walkman with about 10 tapes to fill the gap (Duke, The Wall, Breakfast in America plus other assorted rubbish) and a wardrobe to die for (Lord Anthony Polar bubble coat, green aaron jumper, grey Inega jumbo cords and adidas Nastase). Even years later as a (relatively speaking) grown up when I knew the love of my life was about to dump my sorry arse, I hung in there for a free Christmas trip to Barbados with her – she worked as a trolley dolly while I played cards on the beach rocking the ganj and fiddling the hotel out of ale and food. She came home from a hard days slog pouring tea and passing out peanuts then fell asleep in the hotel room. I went out partying on bogus cocaine and free champagne and ended up rattling one of her colleagues (if you’re reading this, no hard feelings?).


Yes, Christmas has always been good to me. In my formative years, the excitement would start to build when my dad would pop into the loft to get the box that once contained my sisters Tiny Tears bath set but now housed the baubles and tinsel for our plassy tree. Usually the first home, I would start the traditional scour for Christmas presents. Some would be played with three weeks before the big day and it wasn’t always easy to feign surprise when you unwrapped your Grandstand games consol. Luckily, on the big day, I was usually up around 4am – then asleep/sick after quaffing three selection boxes before the folks got up.


Christmas highlight for me was my Team Murray BMX – Halfords had an offer in September 81’ were if you bought one you got 20% off. My dad bought the bike then it stayed in my bedroom for three months! I used to ride along the balcony then do a massive skid with the peddle back brake into the folks bedroom – yes, that’s why your beige shag pile had massive blue marks on it. I nearly killed myself by trying to ride into the bathroom, I misjudged the turn and nearly fell backwards down the stairs – the bike got lodge in the banister, preventing certain carnage. On the day itself, I got the bike down and to top it off, I had the daft BMX pseudo motocross trousers and jumper to go with it.


My stomping ground was the cast iron shore – immortalised by John Lennon in the tune ‘Glass Onion’. The older lads, usually spoilt bastards on black Mongoose ‘Motomag’ BMX’s convinced me to take all the unnecessary gimmicks off the bike, chain guard, reflectors, stand and front break! My dad wasn’t too pleased when I returned Christmas evening with half the bike missing. In fact he took it off me and made me stay in for a week. Of course that week lasted a day as he got pissed off with me moping around the house, doing jumping imaginary buses, popping invisible bunny hops and endo’s in the hall.


These days, I love it that much that I've spent every one since 1996 abroad...



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