Last night, the night before Christmas Eve (which could be called Christmas Eve Eve, but it sounds silly) found us enjoying dinner at a nice little (well, medium sized) Italian place in the city with friends from my previous jobs. We had been going to have Indian, but at not quite the last minute, I discovered some features of the chosen Indian place which I felt may have detracted from our dining experience, and not knowing another suitable Indian venue in the vicinity, I opted to re-schedule to the Italian place instead.
I got into the city a bit early, and roamed around watching the poor souls still having to do Christmas shopping. I found, despite not having touched a drop of drink (honest), that I couldn’t resist the lure of those foam reindeer antlers they have for sale on street corners ($3 for charity). What the hell, I thought, if you can’t get into the Christmas spirit on the 23rd of December, when can you?
Given that I was dressed in my work trousers, jacket and tie, I don’t think the girl selling the antlers seriously expected me to buy them, but I did, and she reckoned they matched my tie, so I put the antlers on and trudged up Bourke Street.
Sure, some people stared, but hopefully the sight of a white collar worker with briefcase and antlers put a smile on their faces. At least one complete stranger told me to have a Merry Christmas. And I managed to surprise some friends by sneaking up behind them and bellowing "Merry Christmas!" And to think I used to be quiet and timid.
The meal itself was good. I almost hit the waitress with the antlers a couple of times, but she must have been quick on her feet to jump out of the way.
Everybody turned up except for one bloke and his brother. By phone I discovered that the brother hadn’t even been told about the dinner, and the bloke, one of the most wired people I know, apparently hadn’t checked his e-mail in over 24 hours and had gone off to the wrong restaurant (which had moved anyway). I left the revised address, but he never showed up.
Ah well, the rest of us ate, drank, were merry and generally got into the Christmas spirit. And unlike the last dinner with these people that I went to, nobody even threw up.
And now it’s Christmas Eve. The presents are wrapped, and everything is ready for Father Christmas’s imminent arrival. It just remains to be seen if he’ll have space to park on our roof, and what he’s going to do about the lack of a chimney.