I mentioned in an earlier HTC post that I’m a fan of a good old fashioned road trip. Get in the car and escape somewhere else for a bit. And sometimes there’s nothing that feels quite as nice as the open road. 

One Christmas, a few years ago, I needed to escape. It hadn’t been a very good year and I was feeling heartbroken and sad. There weren’t that many people around, I was back living with my Mum for a while and she was due to have friends over on the evening of Christmas Day. I just didn’t feel like being sociable and my brother felt the same way. 

My brother and I on Christmas in 2009. A year after the story takes place.
My brother and I on Christmas Day in 2009. A year after the story takes place.

So we hopped in my trusty Nissan Micra and I started driving. I couldn’t really think where to go but my driving instinct took over and an hour later, we found ourselves in Brighton, staring at the dark sea. 

It was an odd road trip to take, because traditionally of course, Christmas is a time for family and friends and eating and love and and those good, fuzzy things. But sometimes it doesn’t feel all that great, or it comes at the wrong time and you just want to be elsewhere. I had never considered visiting a popular summer seaside resort in the middle of winter and especially not on Christmas Day. It was cold, it was windy, it was dark, nobody was around and we wondered why we’d come. 

And then we saw the lights of a Chippy beckoning to us from across the road. A Chippy that was open! So in we went, to sit and eat greasy sausage and chips with salt and ketchup – and we weren’t the only ones in there. A gaggle of other lost and bedraggled souls sat around us. I like to think that we were all looking for an unconventional escape from a day that society and the media tells us must be full of love and joy and happiness and optimism. I guess none of us were feeling it. A chip shop on the beach was our refuge, and I have to say, it felt good to be there, not having to put on a big smile. 

On the drive back, we talked about many things, and re-bonded like only siblings can if they’re lucky enough to not hate each other. My brother and I don’t always talk a whole lot, but that night we did, and there were chips involved too. But no Santa and no sleigh. And it was okay. 

Have you ever wanted to escape from Christmas? It may not be a very Christmassy topic, and don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the happiness and joy and loveliness of the season. But it’s okay sometimes to take a little Time Out too, and do your own thing. Christmas will always still be there, waiting for you when you decide to go back. 

My brother and I did go back that night of course. We drove home and cracked open another tube of Pringles and watched Die Hard. Arguably the true spirit of Christmas is right there in that one sentence!

A Nissan Micra. Although, not MY Nissan Micra.
A Nissan Micra. Although, not MY Nissan Micra.

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