When it comes to the season of giving, turkey and carols there are two distinct types of people…

The first are those who wear Christmas sweaters, carefully store their heirloom Christmas decor, hand-make brandy pudding months in advance, and have Barry Manilow CDs on standby.

The second type are those who mutter impolite things under their breath when they see Christmas crackers on display in the stores in October.

I grew up in a household that did not celebrate Christmas, so it does not excite me much

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But seeing the countries I’ve lived in so far have capitalist systems that encourage spending lots of money over this period, I have experienced it first hand.

Back in my past life when I worked in corporate, some companies had Secret Santas which was sort of fun.

What was not so fun, was years before when I was a bartender in my gap year, having a colleague invite us to coffee then press gifts on us. Which was awkward because we had not asked for them but felt obliged to reciprocate.

Cue excruciating trips to the mall to fight off the hordes while trying to find a present for someone you do not know well. It’s as much fun as it sounds.

As an adult, my family has Christmas get-togethers purely because sometimes its the only time the entire extended family sees each other

Because of my globetrotting, I have missed the last two Christmas dinners in a row so this year will be interesting. Hopefully for the right reasons

Like with all families a lot of drama ensues around venues, invites, seating arrangements, people who invite their stray friends and catering. There was a year where I had to excuse myself from proceedings because the branch of the family that volunteered to host it let us know that they were having a spit braai, which was fine. And that they expected us to each pay R280 to cover the costs, which was definitely not okay.

The running narrative has always been that the host bears the cost – which is why we rotated it every year. Can I also mention that one of my cousins owns a butchery but the people who were charging for the spit braai didn’t choose to get their meat from there?

Because of my globetrotting, I have missed the last two Christmas dinners in a row so this year will be interesting. Hopefully for the right reasons.

Have you had any family drama over the festive season? Please let me know in the comments below.