Sunday, 30 November 2014

One More Until My Favourite Month...

At this point every single year, I get very excited. No kidding. Like somebody high on Red Bull, I shiver, I shake, I behave erratically and I cannot wipe a smile cheesier than a wedge of Blue Stilton off my face. Only one day remains until the most glorious month of the year lands on our doorstep, promising gifts, pleasure and more chocolates that an acne-suffering teenager should be eating. Regardless of how old you are, this is a joy that never changes - and, in fact, is more appreciated with the wisdom of age.

Really, I'm scratching my head as to how we have nearly reached the end of November; wasn't it only five minutes ago when it began? What only feels like days ago when Christmas seemed so far away have slipped away, replaced with a hushed excitement that will reach fever pitch over the next few weeks. Ah, I love Christmas like a preteen worships One Direction: it is a passion that I completely adore, and preserve to use for many years to come!

On this day every year, I've given up fighting the urge to re-watch the same festive films or be touched by the numerous adverts that have been on air since the end of October; now is the time that I want to embrace Christmas, witnessing the anticipation blossoming into such a contagious fever that it would be impossible to not catch it. In other words, I'm ready for Christmas - the presents, the food, the quality time - and all that comes with it.

However, this day always distracts me from celebrating Christmas just yet. There is one special occasion that can never be ignored: my younger brother's birthday. Yes, the little boy who I've always played with, moaned and yelled at is now a teenager who towers over me like the Eiffel Tower; instead of looking up to me, I look up to him. Yet another curse of growing up! Now a streetwise fourteen year old, Little Brother has lost his childhood love of Scooby Doo, instead replacing it with an exceptional penchant for MP3 players and Fifa 15. Luckily, I don't mind this because listening to music or playing video games distracts him from winding me up; if only he'd discovered Xbox at the height of his let's-annoy-LikeATeen campaign years ago!

Despite an age difference of less than two years, my brother and I have different personalities - but similar mouths, according to our parents after receiving our recent school photos. I'm the ultimate bookworm - quiet, reserved and enthusiastic about my studies - where my brother is constantly nagged to tone his voice down (the year-long curse of his voice breaking), playful and more interested in spending the weekend watching Sky Sports. Although our personalities sometimes clash, we get on pretty well - of course, if he isn't pretending to not hear me when I'm talking to him - and have always looked out for one another, both at home and in school.

As I was the first one to hit adolescence, my brother has always struck me as the baby of the family - minus the cats and kittens - so it has taken me quite a while to accept the fact that he has morphed from a cheeky-faced kid to grimacing teenager whose once playful punches could now be as solid as stone. Still, I've lost count over the many times that I've hit him in the 'wrong' area - during our light-hearted 'bundles' - and been forced to apologize to him, whilst failing to disguise my faltering smirk in front of my parents. Both of us are pretty strong, though I know better than to play-fight him while his strength is constantly developing!

Due to his birthday falling on his day, it would be pretty unfair if all that I spoke about was Christmas, as tempting as it might be while he is describing his new football game. For the next week or so, his birthday will be the main event - especially as it has fallen on this weekend - so any hopes of decorating the house are unlikely to be achieved until the week afterwards. Besides, surely it must be so hard to celebrate your birthday while Christmas steals the spotlight - and deciding which presents you want when you'll receive another lot in a few weeks' or even days' time! Though my birthday is after Christmas (1st February - coincidentally Harry Styles' birthday), I still fall victim to this curse because I need to start thinking about presents around Christmas time - before receiving them five weeks later.

Christmas may be such a joy, but its joyous reputation is somewhat dimmed when it threatens to take away attention from your birthday - regardless of whether it is before or after! It hardly surprises me that my brother struggles to come with ideas for his birthday list, having already used them up for Christmas; then, once your birthday has passed, you are forced to wait until Christmas to go spending-crazy again!

Anyway, enough about Christmas: today is about my brother, who I wish a very happy birthday to. Sure, I might not have seen much of him because he has been playing Fifa 15, but I still hope that he is having a good time. And the best thing of all? I get a treat by indulging on a slice of coconut cake - a glorious present that needn't be wrapped!

So, happy birthday to little (or taller) brothers everywhere, or whoever celebrates their b-day before or after Christmas. It won't be long until I celebrate my own - and won't let anybody forget it!

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