porn star christmas

Christmas traditions are there to be adopted, adapted, abandoned. Surely? Having just attended a (rather beautiful) Advent carol service at my local church, I was forcefully struck, not for the first time, by the sheer inanity of the words being spoken and sung, even though the aesthetic in the building, with the candles and the excellent choir, was exactly what I had come for. Given that it was a ‘traditional’ service, so much guff about Old Testament prophecy and Israel, makes you realise those old Christians were really rubbing Jewish noses in the shit of not being saved. The final straw came when the Charles Wesley closing hymn was waxing lyrical about being enraptured by the scars on Jesu’s dazzling body. Ahem! No!

I put down my hymn sheet and rhapsodised instead about an alternative carol service in which we sang Bob Dylan songs (The Times They Are A-Changing, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, Like a Rolling Stone) and read sections from the film script of Monty Python & the Holy Grail. I even thought of including Joe Dolce’s immortal Shaddup You Face, on the grounds that I’d rather sing that “one more time for Mamma” than praise Jehovah ad infinitum for saving us all from sin and damnation in his wonderful mercy.

I guess that’s the thing, hanging on to traditions because we have nothing to replace them with, so it is with a sense of desperation we sing the hoary old chestnuts about shepherds washing socks and kings selling ladies’ underwear, and shove evergreen trees in our living rooms where they truly belong. Don’t get me wrong: I love my tree, the fairy lights, the meaningful decorations we have given – one each year – to our kids. We have ritualised it for ourselves and do not mean to ever let it go. So thank you Prince Albert for the idea, and America’s founding fathers for the turkey, the new prophets of dietary nirvana for the gluten-free Christmas pudding, Coca Cola for Satan Claws, the Muppets for A Christmas Carol, Saint Nicholas of Asia Minor for our stockings (which are in front of the downstairs fire, not on the end of the beds, thanks to children’s nightmares about strange men in their bedrooms) and Mr Vonnegut for a deliciously mordant sense of irony (which I am still working on)…

We have gradually dispensed with the Christianity, the Santa and even the presents over the years, distilling our own family Christmas traditions in the process. Same as everyone, I guess. Our new tradition is already cemented, being at time of writing exactly 363 days old. So now, whilst the bird roasts in the oven, to accompany the platters of smoked salmon blinis (homage to our Russian phase, no doubt!) we have introduced the joys of the iPod playlist – actually, it’s more of a random scrum around the unit and whoever cries ‘My turn!’ the loudest – the inevitable dancing that ensues (the soul of the dead turkey applauds the building of appetite, lest he should have had his neck wrenched in vain) and all of it washed down with Porn Star Martinis.

Now, far be it for me to deconstruct its origins or its evocative name, all I am really interested in is how to make one. Here is the recipe for a basic Porn Star Martini: Shake together equal measures of vanilla vodka, passionfruit puree, passionfruit syrup and passionfruit liqueur with plenty of crushed ice; strain into a cocktail glass; serve with a prosecco chaser in a shot glass. As a recent convert to Lidl, it pains me to refer you to Waitrose for these ingredients, but as they say: no pain, no gain!

There you have it! We never did the Yule log thing, although we do have an open fire and logs are duly placed in the hearth. It’s a bit of a stretch of the spiritual symbolism for us to burn a pagan oak phallic symbol in our little grate, but I do believe we could attach more meaning to it than Harking to the Herald Angels if we should so choose. Those old pagans understood a thing or two.

And I now understand that in my own culturally muddled self-referentially post-modernist way, I do wassail with my family and friends. My shared cup of kindness is just less indebted to the cider orchards of Olde Englande than to the passionfruit groves of the southern hemisphere.

So, happy Christmas to one and all, and may your god go with you!

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