The Christmas headache you get even before the work Christmas party starts

Are you like us?

We, at the Argus, all of us, should be the size of an elephant (A “Banana Split” joke from an old ABC kids’ program for those of you old enough to remember).

Why?

Because, food, especially at this time of year is on all our lips.

There’s two distinct topics: work party, christmas lunch.

It’s always heated, charged with emotion – “This is what our family does, and its perfect” – and lots of “oohing” and “ahhhing” when someone comes up with something we haven’t had before.

Thankfully sheeps eyes have never come up although we believe they would if we had any.

The debate about our end-of-year shindig is still up in the air.

We wish that was a lead in to our decision to have a hot-air balloon flight over Talwood and Toobah where we would finish off by landing at the Coronation Hotel in Toobeah to visit the "Mayor”, Michael Offerdahl.

But simply, it’s not. It’s December, when the brain turns to raspberry jelly and you just can’t be bothered to even think about clever.

You just want it to be over, the work part that is.

We’ve heard it called “mango madness”, that time of year when mistakes happen, people get testy and we eye Christmas Eve and Lions’ fireworks in the park as the finish line of another long, tough year.

 Jelly and mango madness – add some gin – it’s trendy at the moment – and the spirit of Christmas may strike early.

So, back to work parties and Christmas lunch.

The Argus has tried many variations over the years.

Thirty years ago, in a sign of a different era, it was head to the Royal as soon as the paper came out at 11a.m. on Wednesday. Plus add one hour, as we waited not-so patiently for former owner Joe Hoffmann to hand over our pays, and hopefuly, a Christmas bonus. Early lesson at the Argus? Never have a blue with Joe in December, you always paid the price.

But soon as the cash was in your greedy, needy hands,. it was a sprint to the bar, which Dave “Eddie” Edwards usually won.

Joe was usually last in just in time to pay.

It was beerathon of magnificent proportions afterwhich I found, the next day, that I had often done the unexpected.

I once signed up for a season of basketball after apprentice “Dook” Tribe took me along to the AGM which just happened to be at the Royal later that evening.

There were others but the less said the better.

The overriding memory was of “fast” Eddie who was quick out of the gates and set a cracking pace until we were in the home straight.

“Don’t forget me,” he slurred as Dook went up to shout another round.

And in front of him? Three not-so frosty untouched Coronas.

It was surprising to find Eddie was ill the next day.

“Those damn curried peanuts,” he complained. And does so vehemently to this day.

Oh basketball...I played one season and was never asked back.

Thankfully they are more civilised affairs now where the rules are emailed out to us in advance each year.

Christmas parties? What to do? We are undecided. Restaurants, someone’s home, backyard barbie, tapas, pub nibbles?

We’ll be honest, we are out of ideas.

So let us know what you think we should do.

Christmas lunch, some of us, at least have some idea.

The Joneses are having a “barbecue” with roast pork, baked ham and roast vegies.

Barbecue? Well that was the idea.

“That’s great,” said number one daughter but can we have roast veg and roast pork as well?”

Number two son said,” That’s great, but can we have baked ham”.

“And what about the prawns” said first born.

As usual we’ll figure it out out by buying way too much food and end up feeling like we’re on a Japanese game show by 5 o’clock Christmas Day, if not earlier.

The Argus’ Brooke is having seafood, salads, cold ham but with “oysters kilpatrick” and possibly  some hot chooks.

Makes sense to us.

As does Owie’s menu of prawn skewers with miso and ginger butter followed by a chorizo paella with mango and herb salad with a ginger and sesame dressing. May have to head around for leftovers.

Dessert is a work in progress.

So what are you having? We’d love to know as well.

Post on our Facebook Page or e-mail to ian.jones@fairfax,edia.com.au