Everything that will happen to you when you go home for Christmas
Think of all the fun you’ve missed, think of all the boys you haven’t kissed
Friday was the last day of term and, in all likelihood, you’re tucking your tight little jeans away into a nice duffle bag as you prepare for your journey home to spend a romantic couple of weeks with your mum.
But then you get home. And it’s all different. Your old bedroom’s been converted into something mums like, like a home gym or a sex lair, so now you’ve got to sleep in a kitchen cupboard or under the sofa or something, like some sort of fictional orphan.
And then you wake up the next day and realise there’s nothing to do, and that actually, for all you’ve slated your uni town, you arrogant little ingrate, you’ve actually sort of taken it for granted. You’ll miss being within walking distance of literally everyone you know, and not having to go to pubs where dusty people wear gilets and say things like “What’s the damage?” when they pay for their drinks.
Besides the Christmas Classics of harrowing family drama and wanting to be back at uni approximately .2 seconds after arriving home, here’s everything that will definitely happen to you:
Harry still thinks you’re friends and it’s awful, it’s absolutely bloody awful
Harry, your mate from secondary – the one who tells girls his mum’s his best friend and pretends to like cats way too much to look cute – wants to meet up for some bevs.
This Harry– turned down an offer to study Law at Cambridge, he says, because he’s been tricked him into thinking student debt actually means anything so he got a job as an assistant floor manager at the co-op in his village, the absolute clown – will text you the moment your feet hit the concrete at Euston. “Hi m8 ;)” he starts. He’s clearly overthought this. Numbers instead of words, resurrecting the very worst of 2011 text banter, taking you back to the days when you didn’t carefully vet all your tweets so he wouldn’t know you’re home. “Fancy a Peroni at mine? I’ve got the american football on. I’m really into american football now.”
This is the same Harry whose threats to visit you at uni have been getting gradually more and more sincere- by November essentially turning you into his hostage, as you painstakingly weave a thick web of lies about coursework and work schedules, to the point where you actually, for a short time, seriously consider just surrendering and letting him drive 150 miles for the pleasure of a silent pint in Spoons.
Your cat’s forgotten your scent and doesn’t sleep on the end of your bed anymore
Custard, please come back to me.
Deciding which mid-life crisis you want to partake in this year
Recent figures suggest that around half of you have divorced parents. If your parents are still together, your Christmas will proceed as usual: You’ll go home to your Big Country House in Yorkshire – didn’t tell your mates about your Big Country House, did you, when you were lying to them about your difficult childhood – and watch Elf with both your parents.
The other half of you have to decide which parent you want to watch Elf with, and which will have to settle for a disappointing Jack Frost on Boxing Day.
The raw end of this decision is picking which of your separated parents’ mid-life crises you want to negotiate with for three weeks. It’s essentially a choice between spending your holiday saying things like “Of course I’ll proofread your OK Cupid, mum – yeah, sensual only has one L”, and talking your Dad down from the precarious ledge of what can only be described as a troubling scarf collection.
Your mum’s new boyfriend’s a bit much, isn’t he
Love exotic birds, do we? Housed a parrot in my old bedroom, have we? Written your name on each individual can of Hobgoblin you’ve got in the fridge, did you? Sort yourself out, mum’s new boyfriend.
You tolerate all of this not only because you love and respect your mum, but because how long can parrots possibly stay alive for– about twelve years, probably, and hopefully even less than that– and then you google it in a moment of weakness and find out parrots are actually basically immortal, and that this awful noise bird will almost certainly outlive you.
Adults saying “You’ve changed”, but not in the good way
You drop a casual little ‘twat’ or ‘fuck’ around your younger siblings, and your mum, in that acidic little tone she usually reserves for Grandad’s Christmas Day Racism says something like “Someone’s grown up at uni!” or “They teach you that in your lectures eh?”, and honestly it’s objectively not a situation anyone should be concerned with but then you realise that as a matter of fact, in this exact moment in time, as your mum holds you to account for dropping your harrowing virginity story in the presence of actual children, you probably have changed a bit, and not just because you now, unknowingly, walk around with the smell of Southampton (salt, dirt, urine) on you, but actually also because you’ve become a bit of a lout with all this independence, and maybe you should have taken a job at co-op assistant managing the floor instead of spending three years not going to seminars and learning how to make tortilla wraps from scratch.
Have you thanked your mum for letting you eat all her food and disrupt her exciting new life of parrot-keeping and intermediate yoga? No you haven’t. Go do it now.