Quick as a flash, Christmas has come and gone. As you’re laying on your couch and just – cannot – move from all you’ve stuffed yourself with or if you’re feeling the post-celebration blues, let us be your remedy! Writer’s Block proudly presents our yearly Christmas interview, where you can find out all the (festive) secrets that hide in our beloved board members’ minds. So while you’re looking forward to New Year’s Eve, and as you’re hopefully done with all our holiday recommendations, welcome to our world.
What is the true meaning of Christmas to you?
Jérémy: Holiday supporting capitalism, totalitarianism, gotta liberate these shackles, and that’s not an excuse to not buy presents. Remove the presents from the protestant bourgeoisie. Also it’s about a big white man and his little black sex slaves.
Costas: I remember that as a kid I used to wake up at 7 am on Christmas Day and run downstairs in my pyjamas to rip open my presents. That feeling of sheer and utter happiness still takes hold of me every Christmas – even though I am now waking up hangover after midday and there are hardly any presents under the tree. Plus I’m the one who is supposed to buy presents now for some reason (how did it ever get to this?). All in all, Christmas to me is not about meaning, it is more of a nostalgic feeling. That of an out-of-breath, pyjama-wearing happiness. —— Rebecca seconds this: I love this answer.
Chelsea: For me Christmas is all about being with my family. I love being together, laughing, cooking, eating together and buying gifts for the people I love. My parents are divorced and I have a partner so Christmas is always super busy for me. But that’s what makes it fun too!! Unfortunately, this year had to be a bit different, as I’m sure all of us experience. But as long as everyone’s healthy I’m happy. Hopefully next year I will be able to see my grandparents for Christmas too.
Stella: A meaningful Christmas, to me, consists of two things: quality time with loved ones, and a moment of peace, quiet and reflection. I’m, however, yet to discover how to smoothly unite the two…
Eda: To me, who has never really celebrated Christmas, it’s about finding a silver lining amongst the dark days of winter. It can feel pretty gloomy and disenchanting to only get about 5 hours of “sunlight” (if you’re in the Netherlands you straight up don’t see the sun for 3 months), so getting together with loved ones and taking a moment to reflect on the things you appreciate is a good way to balance it out and bring some light into your life.
Alexandra: I’ve always loved winter and most things that came with it, snow, my birthday and the holidays. This year was the first I spent away from my family, and a change of perspective made me realize it’s all about having people you love and honestly just catching a break from life (escaping into cute decorations and warm hugs)
What would you do if you were Santa Claus?
JJ: liberate the black elves from the factories and finally ask for some god damn consent (for an orgy of course)
Costas: Outsource the delivery of the presents to Amazon.
Rebecca: Braid. That. Beard.
Chelsea: I’d like to add to Rebecca’s answer: Add some glitters in that beard too!! (I know she agrees). Also, it’d be pretty great to get kids and families who struggle during the holidays the nicest gifts.
Stella: I was gonna say I’d put an end to the consumerist gluttony, but Chelsea’s answer softened my heart. She has a point.
Elis: Bang Mrs. Clause.
Alex: Same, Elis, same…
What is the weirdest Christmas present you have ever given out?
Costas: So me and my friend said that we could buy each other a present but it can be 10 euros max. I went to a copy center and got him a ruler. Oh, and that was after my friend got me some ridiculously small table tennis paddles which I was (at the time) pretty sure I would never play with, so I was slightly pissed. We ended up playing mini table tennis on a kitchen table all year.
Rebecca: I crocheted my mom a baby yoda plushie this year, that’s pretty weird. I feel like baby yoda is the new minions for middle-aged white women, so she loved it.
Chelsea: I once gifted my sister the Sims 4 but it didn’t deliver in time. As a solution I edited a really funny picture of her face on a Sims figure and printed it out. I then put the picture in a super fancy box (lace and all) and she was super confused when she unpacked the box and found that instead of jewelry. She loved it though!
JJ: Nerf striker eb25 collecting dust in my grandma’s house.
Eda: This isn’t really weird, but one year when I was about 10 I couldn’t think of what to get for my parents so I took out two 50 euro bills from their wallets, put them in envelopes labeled “MOM” and “DAD”, and gave it to them as a “gift” so they could buy something they like.
What is your favorite or funniest Christmas memory?
JJ: The first Christmas where I was told of Santa’s existence, they had put a bunch of sugar cookies by the tree. I snuck out of my room in the middle of the night in order to eat them all. The next morning we all woke up and the adults went “wow! Santa ate all the sugar cookies!”. I had never felt more betrayed.
Costas: Reorganising my entire bookcase on Christmas morning last year. Took me four hours and I was fully covered with dust at the end, but it felt really rewarding.
Rebecca: I don’t have one in specific, being together with my family once a year just gets me too soppy!
Stella: Time heals most grudges, so fortunately this one has become funny over the years…one Christmas I cartwheeled my brother in the eye.
Chelsea: I’m expanding this question to New Year’s Eve. When I was younger I lived in Aruba for four years. Which was great, but meant no grandparents and such. We used to do a BBQ on the beach on boxing day which was really fun. I always felt a bit sad my grandparents weren’t there with us though. So for New Year’s we used to do a videocall on MSN (good old days). It would then be 6pm for us but 12am for my grandparents. One year we did this but when toasting I spilled my entire glass of kiddy champagne over the laptop which crashed before we got to say Happy New Year and never worked again. This was pretty rough for 8 year old me but now it’s just funny.
Eda: Like Chelsea, I’m also going to expand this to New Year’s Eve, specifically 2017 going into 2018. It was the first time I spent NYE not with my parents; a good friend of mine invited a few close friends over and we celebrated at his house. It was a special NYE because we were going into the year in which we would turn 18, sit our end of high school exams and graduate, then go on a month-long interrail trip with the 6 of us. I remember all of us walking outside after the countdown to watch the fireworks, and my best friend and I sat down on the sidewalk and talked about the upcoming year and all that we were excited about, long after everyone else had gone back inside. It’s one of my fondest NYE memories.
Does your family or country have any weird Christmas/holiday traditions?
JJ: Kiwi ham, it’s massive.
Rebecca: Not weird, but we do that corny American thing where we all get matching PJ sets each year 🙂
Costas: At Midnight on New Year’s day we cut the “Vasilopita”, that is a cake containing a coin which supposedly gives good luck to the one who finds it in their piece. My grandmother always knew where the coin was and would give me the lucky piece, to the dismay of the rest of my family. Well, tough luck!
Chelsea: Not really, although the raclette seems to be an all time favorite for Dutch people (never in my family though). But then again, they pull that thing out for all festivities.
Alex: Intense fights once everyone gets drunk; also, we kill a lot of cute pigs
Stella: One of the most popular Finnish Christmas pastries unfortunately looks a lot like a swastika.
What food do you *need* at Christmas?
JJ: Puff pastry with goat cheese, walnut and honey filling. Tea with a cloud of milk.
Costas: Melomakarona. They are the most delicious traditional Christmas cookies in Greece. The word “melomakarona” is a combination of two words; “meli” means honey and “makarona” which comes from the ancient word “makaria” meaning blessed.
Rebecca: My mom’s potato gratin. It’s not Christmas without it.
Chelsea: My grandpa is a cook so I’d say whatever he puts on the Christmas menu that year. But honestly my whole family loves cooking and I love ALL food, so I’m always happy.
Demi: We always have a mini gourmet that we invite my grandparents to and it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
Eda: Hot cocoa!
Would you rather have your child be an elf or a santa?
JJ: Santa, and if he doesn’t give me presents I know where they live.
Alex: I would never want my child to be part of such an oppressive system. Join the revolution against the reign of this fat old dictator
Costas: An elf of course, but only if it looks like the ones in Lord of The Rings.
Rebecca: Elves are cute! And the pointed ears? Adorbs.
Chelsea: Hey, what about the reindeers? I’m pretty sure my kid would have enough energy for that. Plus: you get to FLY!
Best sex you had? But like, in a Christmas way.
Costas: Let’s just say I’m never getting off the naughty list after that one.
Stella: Tied up with a bow around my neck, like the best present they were ever gonna get 🙂
JJ: With a reindeer. (damn Stella)
Elis: I sharpened a candy cane and put it up a dudes urethra. Let’s just say he got a UTI for Christmas, if you know what I mean 😉
If you had the power to fly around the globe with a herd of reindeer, what would you do with it?
JJ: Commit grand theft auto and carry it away for the polar bears so they understand why they need to drown.
Costas: Apply to an aviation company and become the pilot of a custom-made, reindeer-powered airplane.
Rebecca: I feel like bringing presents to literally everyone on the globe is already pretty overpowered? Like, can you really top that?
Chelsea: In answer to Rebecca: Yes! By actually giving presents to EVERYONE, especially those whose parents are struggling or those who don’t get to have a Christmas at all. I would also just travel the world with that sleigh, sounds pretty chill to me.
Eda: Fly around at random times of the year and appear to a few people just to fuck with them.
What’s your best ‘my family member got really drunk at a holiday party’ story?
JJ: One of my uncles tried to do fireworks and it flew straight to my mom’s ass.
Alex: My friends and I getting drunk and spending 40 minutes hugging in the cold because we didn’t want the moment to end // My brother getting shitfaced and throwing up on my bed?
Costas: There’s a really great one, but for some peculiar reason no one remembers anything.
Stella: It’s the Christmas day carnival in the village of Mulalillo, Ecuador, 2017. My host siblings, friends, and I are all dressed up to join the masses circling the park and stomping to a marching band. I’m not really in the mood to drink, and the sugar cane booze smells like kerosene, but I’m told: es un pecado no tomar hoy. So, I surrender. Bottles are passed around the wildly dancing crowd in pre-pandemic recklessness. Shamans dressed in suspicious white cone hats cleanse you of bad spirits by spraying liquor all over you from their mouths… Fast forward hours of dizzying spins to the cumbia, and my host mom is out with a broomstick, screaming our names. I may or may not have impulse-bought a gigantic poncho, thrown up in the ditch, and horrified the elderly by “cursing in the devil’s tongue” (Finnish).
What gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling during the Christmas season?
JJ: Getting pegged.
Alex: Snow :’)
Costas: Grandma’s hand-knit jumpers FTW.
Rebecca: Long walks on Christmas Day.
Stella: The yearly utter failure at making a gingerbread house :’)
Demi: sitting in front of the fireplace with a hot cocoa
Elis: My tape worm 🙂
Eda: The presents. Long live commercialism!
When is the appropriate time to put up and take down the Christmas tree?
JJ: Idk, when it’s brown town?
Alex: I prefer to be the crazy old lady who keeps her Christmas tree up all year round.
Rebecca: I second Alex, there is no right time.
Chelsea: Rebecca, didn’t you keep your Christmas tree up for all of last year?
Costas: When mom says so.
Stella: When the Christmas album by the Finnish acapella band Rajaton is playing.
Eda: December 1st is when you put it up, and when you take it down is up to you. Whenever it feels right.