CHRISTMAS Day is over for another year. Santa is back in the North Pole, sleeping off a mince pie-induced carbohydrate coma. Rudolph is safe in his stable, regretfully suffering the after- effects of overindulging in carrots.
The elves are sweeping up the workshop and complaining about unpaid overtime. The database of children’s behaviour is being backed up on a spare hard drive just in case of a crash – it’s never been quite as accurate since the Millennium humbug.
Christmas Day may be over but Christmas is not. We’ve another few days to go in this gap between opening our presents and celebrating the New Year by standing in a very long taxi queue in the rain.
We’ve already completed the two 21st-century festive traditions of peeling all the bits of Sellotape off the used wrapping paper before it can go in the recycle bin and negotiating a peace treaty between two warring Trivial Pursuit teams.
Our stomachs are finally dealing with the stack of roast potatoes and that final ill-judged round of mince pies that left our bellies as full as a snake that’s only recently swallowed a mouse it will take 10 days to digest.
The dishes are washed, the sherry sipped and the paper hats worn for just long enough to avoid appearing miserable, but not for so long that you get an indelible crease in your hair.
These few days are a funny old time – in fact, they seem to exist outside of time altogether, away from the usual hustle of life.
It’s a time when we look back on the year that’s gone past and, no matter how bad it’s been, look forward to the next one with optimism.
As much of this supplement is dedicated to reliving the highlights of 2012, here are a few of my plans for 2013:
FINDING a way of harnessing the energy generated by the applause in Liverpool theatres, like the laughter in Monsters Inc. There’s certainly plenty of it and it’s far more environmentally-friendly than fracking.
WHEN I’m not in the theatre reviewing, I’ll be in the garden shed trying to invent non-rustle sweet packaging. This will not only prevent the deafening crinkle of a tentatively unwrapped chocolate lime disrupting the dramatic tension of a death scene, but it will also do away with the disgruntled tutting noises made by those sitting near the culprit.
WHILE I’m at it, I’ll be trying to figure out that magic coin trick that makes pounds appear from nowhere. Then I’m going to teach it to all the arts organisations in Merseyside and farther afield so they’re able to keep on producing high-quality work despite all the funding cuts.
I MUST point out that writing these intentions out in list-form does not in anyway signify them as New Year’s resolutions.
This is because, as everyone knows, calling something you intend to do a “New Year’s resolution” is the very best way of all to ensure that you won’t do it. Ever.
New Year’s resolutions should therefore be exclusively reserved for things that you quite definitely don’t want to happen. Mine currently include shaving my head and watching all episodes of The Only Way is Essex on repeat.