Really, I look forward to the day when I can celebrate Christmas as I desire. Get some good food - a barbecue, pizza, huge tubs of ice cream, I'm not particularly fussy - and head out and play cricket. Because that's what Christmas Day is all about, once you get the presents and breakfast/lunch out of the way: cricket. Well, OK, that's not what Christmas is 'all about' in the actual justification for the day, but you should get what I mean. Christmas afternoon, to me, should feature a good, fun game of cricket in the backyard or down at the park.
And then, of course, there's the Boxing Day test. I remember the last time I was in New Zealand for Christmas - 2000, probably - my father and I headed down to the Basin Reserve in Wellington for the Boxing Day test. I believe we were playing Zimbabwe. I love catching cricket at the Basin and the atmosphere was great, despite the guy behind us who insisted on annoyingly yelling "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaastle" at Nathan Astle until my father turned around and told him in no uncertain terms to "shut the fuck up". There were some kids playing their own game of cricket in the stands and to the best of my memory, Wellington turned on this gloriously sunny day quite unlike what you actually expect in the city known better for its delightfullly chilly winds and lovely rain. Now, that was a good day.
I can't even begin to imagine Christmas without cricket - and the barbecue, my mother's fruit mince pies, and a nice sunny day are pretty much Christmas staples too. Christmas just wouldn't be right without cricket, whether it's the backyard variety or sitting down the next day to watch the Boxing Day test. I suppose if it's winter, you could play rugby, but that just seems wrong on so many levels. Rucks and mauls aren't exactly Christmasy to me.
Of course, this year's Christmas isn't exactly going to go how I'd like it. Maybe another year, eh?