Plenty to be thankful for even if Xmas plans go awry
You know you've had an interesting Christmas when you spend your time comparing yourself to Kevin McAllister.
(If that name isn't familiar to you, well . . . I just feel like I don't really know you any more.)
Okay, so I am not an 8-year-old child, whose parents' (and entire extended, huuuge, family) ineptitude meant I was abandoned, quite literally Home Alone, while everybody else was faffing about in Paris for Christmas.
I also haven't had to barricade myself inside, utilising nothing more than my wits, some action figurines, and tins of paint to defend my family home against the Wet Bandits.
(Real talk: Creative licence aside, at what point would you decide no free home appliance is worth that much bodily pain? If not before the tool chest, then surely afterwards?)
(Because of course, up until that point, a movie about an 8-year-old child defending his family home against the Wet Bandits is completely plausible. Derrrs.)
But - getting back to the point I appear to be making in the most circuitous way - I have had a few spots of bad luck lately.
A five-minute appointment at the hospital somehow morphed into a 36-hour stay.
The forecast was for a wet, not the much-desired white, Christmas.
One half of our luggage - the half carrying the presents, because that's just the kind of luck I'm working with here - failed to land when our plane did.
So there I was, sitting in a restaurant in Salzburg the night before Christmas, feeling sorry for myself.
It was as I was sampling what proved to be the most delicious third of my dinner (which, in English, loosely translated to "several variations of sausage with delicious sauerkraut goodness piled underneath") that I realised I needed a smack in the face.
With a tool chest, a la Harry and Marv.
Like Kev, I'd been hanging at a one-man pity-party.
In one of the finest cinematic moments of the 1990s, Kevin learned his lesson about the true meaning of Christmas.
Scary Old Dude reminded Kevin that it's not about presents, or who is forced to share with a bed wetter.
I was sitting in Salzburg, for fuuuuuuuuuudge's sake.
As far as OE highlights go, that's pretty up there.
I don't have snow, but I have the ability to move unaided again.
I don't have presents, some of my shoes, and all of my jewellery, but I do have travel insurance so all is not lost.
I don't have my family, but I have Skype.
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal(s).
* For more Christmas photos click here. Image, top, Santa getting into the Christmas Jumper Act in Salzburg.
The Southland Times