Alexa Chung: 'When did Christmas stop being exciting and start being a chore?'

Girl About Town

Share
Related Topics

I must have cut a lonely figure, grappling with a huge Christmas tree up a windy, cobbled street – a street brimming with happy couples and mobile-phone advert friends. My arms dwarfed by a pine giant in a net.

To make matters worse, I was wearing a camel-coloured coat. If I'd have thought it through, I'd have donned the Barbour for this festive task. As it was, having been abandoned by a friend who had promised to help me fetch The Tree, defiance had forced me towards the rainy market in a hurry, and the camel was baring the brunt of this rookie mistake. Thirty pounds and a steely glare later (I had to beat off stiff competition for my find), I was smugly dragging the piny bastard around Shoreditch in search of my front door.

It now stands embarrassed in the corner of the room, drowning in scientifically tied bows and carefully arranged fairy lights, which continue to wink at me long into the night. I realise now that I have unintentionally turned my innocent Christmas tree – the first I've ever bought – into a "fashion tree".

It wasn't meant to be this way. I searched high and low for multi-coloured baubles because I wanted a tacky, scrappy tree but no, impatience gripped me before I had a chance to find them. Suddenly I found myself in John Lewis's haberdashery section, picking out VV Rouleaux ribbons in various hues, as if that's what I do every year.

This, however, is the first year I've had the inclination to decorate my home in keeping with tradition. My previous miserly stance toward decoration was that everything I put up I would at some point have to take down and, frankly, that would be too much effort. I wonder when it got to that? As a child I used to virtually hyperventilate at the prospect of picking up the tree from the local garden centre with my dad and taking it home to drench it in baubles. It was beyond exciting.

And at school when we used to fashion shoddy-looking paper-chains from faded coloured sugar paper, it seemed not only to be an extremely important task, but also the highlight of the academic calendar. Will there be snow, won't there be snow? Will Father Christmas/Dad eat the mince pie we left out?

This year I'm trying to rediscover that fervour I once had for the festive period. I started by watching Home Alone – which was just as amazing as I remembered – I've bought rings made of holly, too many branches of mistletoe and I've even tried to stand around sipping mulled wine and hot cider, both of which tasted entirely unreasonable.

I'm supposed to be attending a karaoke party later this week with a Christmas fancy-dress theme. Why is it that, according to the internet, the standard go-to costume for any woman attending a fancy-dress party at this time of year is sexy Santa?

Santa isn't meant to be sexy and Santa isn't meant to climb down chimneys in a bra and panties. It angers me. It provides yet another opportunity for girls to ignore themes and just dress slutty. Since when did wearing suspenders count as a costume? I want to go as a Christmas cracker (no pun intended).

Maybe the issue I have is that there is only a certain amount of Christmas cheer I can muster every year, and most of that is used up on bellowing "Merry Christmas!!!" at cameras weeks and weeks before the actual event. It means I'm over it by Christmas Eve. There is one saving grace, however, one activity that always fills me with cheer: shopping.

Yesterday I popped in to central London to track down a variety of gifts for a variety of family members. I managed to buy four in total, one for my sister, one for my brother and two for myself. Although this is an appalling result, it's a trap I always fall into.

I have an issue with purchasing things, I can't peruse items for other people without spying something for myself. Often I'll try and safeguard myself from this fact by sticking solely to shops or departments I know I have no interest in: kitchenware, menswear, gardening tools.

Even then though, even when I'm knee-deep in other people's interests, I am quite capable of convincing myself I need a hand trowel. This has to stop. Perhaps I'll do the rest of my Christmas shopping over the internet because then if I can't actually pick the items up and bond with them, I won't want them. First stop: www.net-a-porter.com.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: how to spell BBQ and other linguistic irregularities

Guy Keleny
 

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own