This is a list but not just any list, it’s a list of all those daft things seemingly sane people do around Christmas that just don’t stand up to scrutiny under the cold light of day. Consider it a tick list. How many are you guilty of?
- Watching a film on commercial telly at an inconvenient time when you actually own it on DVD/BD. We did this with Tangled over Christmas (although we were waiting for Room on the Broom to come on). Every 7 minutes when ITV cut to an advert break Fifi sighed and asked if it had finished. Every 7 minutes I said no, it was an advert break.
- Buying enough food to feed your family 97 times over. I stood over the turkeys in the supermarket pondering what to buy on Christmas Eve. We’d had turkey round the inlaws on Sunday and were going to have turkey round my parents on Boxing Day. I envisaged a world full of cold turkey for the entire future of humanity, and opted to buy a small organic chicken instead. It was about £30 cheaper than a turkey and we still had plenty of cold chicken for sandwiches. The parents did overdo it on the sprout front though; no family needs to prepare enough sprouts for about a dozen each.
- Indulging in a manpede on Christmas Eve. I was introduced to the word manpede by BBC News (of all places!) just before Christmas. Basically it refers to the mad panicked buying that blokes do on Christmas Eve for their better halves. Chaps, you’ve had all year, don’t leave it until the last minute eh?
- Letting the kids stay up late. Good luck trying to get the little sods into a normal bedtime routine before school starts. The boy was still awake the night before the night before Christmas at 10pm. He called me in and in a serious voice said, “Daddy, we’ve got a problem. If I’m awake at this time tomorrow night, Father Christmas might not come.” He’s five and makes more sense than a lot of adults.
- The annual bread famine panic. Every Christmas Eve the supermarket shelves are stripped of bread because, you know, they’ll be shut for a whole 24 hours and how will people survive without 12 loaves of bread and a gross of par-baked baguettes???
I shall leave you with one of Christmas’ TRUE MYSTERIES: why do Quality Street still make the golden pennies? Nobody eats them because they’re more effective at removing fillings than the dentist in Marathon Man…