Countdown to Christmas

Beloved Readers

It’s 10 days until Christmas, so to mark the countdown to the big day and in anticipation of the whole mess almost being over, I’d like to pass on 10 thoughts to help you get there in one piece with most of your senses still intact.

  1. Presents

Whoever you’re buying for, time is running out so you need to think strategically. If it’s a gift for him, as much as you think that scarf would look great on him, don’t. Buy him something practical. Bonus points if it’s electronic. For her, as much as you think a new wet and dry cordless vacuum is pretty cool, don’t be tempted. Use your imagination and never, ever ask what she wants for Christmas.

For any kids, it doesn’t really matter. They’ll never be satisfied when compared to their wish list. Everyone else either doesn’t care or is low enough in the food chain that any form of re-gifting is allowed.

  1. Venue

If you don’t know where you’re going by now you’re in trouble. There are two options here and they have an impact on Christmas Day food choices. Go to either (a) or (b) in the next check point.

  1. Food

(a) If you happen to be invited somewhere at the last minute you should be relieved you don’t have to deliver a big Christmas Day spread. Yours is the best state to be in. To remain this way, bring something revolting for your hosts to eat on Christmas Day. A tuna Christmas tree, anything with savoury jelly, Aberdeen sausage. You get the idea. You’ll never be asked to bring anything again or be expected to host Christmas at your place so you’ll be off the hook.

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(b) If you haven’t been invited anywhere then you’re either a close relative of mine and despised at Christmas or people are waiting to be invited to your place. The sort of people who want to mooch off you are just like you and the last people you want to be sharing a Christmas ham with, so do nothing. If you’re in Japan it’s perfectly acceptable to eat as many buckets of KFC as you wish.

  1. Budget

No matter how well you plan and how adept you are at budgeting, Christmas will end up spending three times more than you planned Prepare for this now by increasing your credit limit or auction some of the presents you received last year on e-bay to get you through.

  1. Emergency Kit

This is pertinent when you’re hosting. No matter how many times we hear the dumb expression “oh, shit it doesn’t come with batteries” we never learn, so stock some to avoid hearing this stupid joke again.

Fill your medicine cabinet with pain-killers for those you know will suffer headaches and for you to ease the pain they will create for you by being in your air.

Keep a baseball or cricket bat handy for keeping the peace when the moonshine eventually works its wonders on the nuttiest members of your party.

  1. Moonshine

Speaking of which, you will never, ever be able to satisfy all tastes and thirsts so you need to buy at least one of everything from your local liquor discount barn. This is a major contributor to check point # 4. Budget

  1. Excuses

 (a) If you’re hosting, you need to have some well thought through excuses for when the inevitable happens and your guests won’t leave on the day or worse if they get so drunk they want to stay overnight.

(b) If you’re alone, you need a reason for why no one can be around. Mentions of a pest infestation and/or nasty rash will usually do the trick.

  1. Bonfire

Once the big day is over, you want to remove the physical and mental evidence. Best way to do this is to start a bonfire to enflame the sheets your guests have slept in and the cheap presents they have bestowed upon you. I find that a few good, brandy-soaked Panettone set alight forms the basis for a very effective, slow burn fire.

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  1. Recovery

Once it’s all over, you don’t want to be caught short for the magnificent celebration of Boxing Day. You want to ensure your fridge and pantry are fully stocked, your guests are nowhere to be seen and you have not made any plans for the day whatsoever.

  1. Pray

Finally, pray.

Dear Lord

Love brought Jesus down to Earth and a bunch of freeloading zombies to my door this Christmas in search of a free meal and all the whiskey they could drink. Let me forgive them their faults as they have no doubt forgiven me mine.

Amen.

Yours, Noel

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