Who’s Noel?

I’ve had to endure more than most at the pointy-treed end of the year.

Scarred at a very young age when attacked by a reindeer herd on a school Christmas excursion, I developed a phobia of Christmas soon after, when as playing the part of baby Jesus in the school nativity play, my costume malfunctioned and I was left naked on stage, drowning in the laughter of my schoolmates and their parents.

To cap if off, that Christmas Eve I learned Santa Claus wasn’t real when I overheard my drunken Scottish Father screaming into his whiskey that he was sick of the “big, fat, red bastard” getting the credit for all the gifts Dad had worked his arse off for all year to buy.

I was 5 years old.

My subsequent experiences with Christmas didn’t improve. Raised in a strict Catholic family that cherished the endless peculiarities of Christmas (and that once held the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest rum ball), I’ve endured a succession of bad office Christmas parties, bad-breathed, drunken relatives and outright disastrous Christmas Days.

After a lifetime trying to escape the grey Christmas cloud, I eventually realised that the only riches I have are a bank full of Christmas misery. The least I can do is share this wealth of misfortune and help others get through this wretched time of year.

There’s not a Christmas problem I haven’t heard of and I can’t wait to help you with yours.