WE’D TELL YOU to listen out for these phrases, but there wouldn’t really be any point. You’ll definitely hear them.
1. “Hard to believe it’s a year since last Christmas”
Everyone says this, but especially your mam when she’s feeling misty-eyed and sentimental after her first glass of wine. Acceptable variants: “It crept up on us” and “It really flew in.”
2. “Did you buy the batteries?”
From husband to wife, or vice versa. Usually accompanied by a meaningful stare. A pointless question, because nobody has ever bought the batteries.
3. “Next year we’re not bothering with the turkey”
From your red-faced and perspiring mother as she carries in the glistening (or undercooked, or burnt) turkey after slaving over it for hours. She has probably already ordered the turkey for Christmas 2013.
4. “It’s too cold for snow”
For comparison, here is a video of a snowstorm in the Canadian Yukon at a temperature of minus 40:
It probably isn’t too cold for snow.
5. “The kids nearly preferred the cardboard boxes to the presents”
Uttered in a tone of surprise and wonderment on an annual basis.
6. “I didn’t know what he/she’d wear so I got them a voucher”
For this to have the full effect it must be uttered in a tone of slight self-congratulation, as if you’ve finally cracked a puzzle at which many others have failed. If your interlocutor is worth anything at all, they’ll nod sagely and say something like “Good thinking.”
7. “Did you keep the receipt?”
The dark side of number 6. Said by your younger sibling as he/she looks dubiously at the gift you trekked all over town for. Or for a slightly more sugarcoated version: “I like it, but can I exchange it?”
8. “There’s nothing good on TV this year”
Harking back to that golden age when every single one of your favourite films and/or Christmas special was screened in succession for 76 hours straight. For bonus points, try adding “It’s all repeats.”
9. “We’ll catch up for a drink over Christmas”
During the months of November and December, Irish people are stricken by a collective delusion that they all have two months off between December 24 and January 2. Thus, it is an ideal time to make vague arrangements with every single person you have ever met.
10. “Well, that’s it now for another year.”
Traditionally uttered on St Stephen’s Day by your mother, in a tone of slight regret mixed with unmistakeable relief. Also occasionally deployed by grouchy older relatives, in which case the relief may be more gleeful and directed at small children.
The only response anybody has ever given to the question “How was the Christmas?”
An especially talkative or drunk person may extend it to “Grand… Quiet.”
Are there any we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments or tweet @dailyedge…