It’s that time of year again.

I still haven’t got the decorations up.

Whilst I am not very bah humbug, I am a bit.  If you have not got anybody in your family who is a bit difficult, please put your hand up now.


It’s the expectations of Christmas that make people who are normally nasty turn into the evil stepmother at this time of year.  Or the wicked queen.  Those poisoned apples are everywhere.  I think the wellspring of pantomime is undoubtedly Christmas with the Family.  Any family.  It’s all good, or mostly bad, depending on your viewpoint.

Dramatis personae

There shall be one older woman who will make thinly veiled critical comments about: the food, the decorations, the state of the house, the cleanliness of the carpets, the behaviour of the children, the sobriety of the men, the clothing of other women and all neighbours and anyone who has been invited into the house that they have not previously met.

Typical dialogue: Who does she think she is?  If he’s right I know where there’s a houseful.  Is this turkey cooked?  Is this how you do the sprouts?  This gravy looks like dishwater.  Are you wearing that?  This glass is not full.  I see you don’t dust the pictures for Christmas.  Let’s hope for snow and then your garden will look all right.  Where is my thank you letter?

There shall be an older man who will fart and snore by turns in the best chair with his slippers falling off and smelly feet.

Typical dialogue: ZZZZZZZZZZZ.  Have I missed We Dive at Dawn?  ZZZZZZZZZZZ.  I don’t want cartoons.  ZZZZ.    Can you make mine into a sandwich so I can have it watching TV?  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

There shall be one mother and new baby.

Typical dialogue:  I’ve just got him off to sleep can we eat now?  No not crackers!   Don’t pull the crackers!  Bang! Bang! Bang!  wa wa wawawawawawawwawawawwawawawaawwawawawawaaaaa!    Put mine in the oven.

There shall be one man about forty.

Typical dialogue:  So anyway, Derek in accounts said to Gerald the MD that it does look as if there might be a place for me in the new year.  I’m hoping, if I get it, to upgrade the car.  My sprockets/ chassis/ rear spoilers/seat covers/sound system  are not what they were.  What do you think of the new line up of (insert name of rock band here)?  Yes, thank you for the socks.

There shall be one teenager and one games machine.

Typical dialogue:  Got you!  Got you!  Duh duh duh duh.  Hah ha!  What? Do I have to get up to the table to eat?  Why can’t I have mine here?  Why does Gran have to see me?  She knows what I look like.  I’ll come when I get to the next level.  Duh duh duh.

There shall be one neighbour, in a Christmas jumper.

Typical dialogue:  No let me, I can carry it.  I know it’s heavy.  Whoops!  Oh dear.  Well at least it was an old plate if it was your grandmother’s.  I’m sure the gravy will wash out of the carpet.  If you can’t rescue the turkey, I have some ham from last week in my fridge, I’ll fetch that, and just have a tin of something.  Shall I bring the trifle through now?

There shall be one very very old person, in a shawl and brown clothing, with stains.

Typical dialogue:  What?  What?  Who is that woman with the fat bottom?  Do I know her?  I can’t hear the television.  George smells – give him a poke but not in the stomach, it’ll make it worse.  Why does nobody stop the baby crying?  If these slippers are for me, I don’t like them.  This cup of tea you gave me half an hour ago that was too hot has gone cold. Shouldn’t he be out chopping wood at his age instead of playing with that plastic box all the time?

There shall be you and there shall be me putting up with it all and remembering that Christmas is not for life it’s just one ghastly day.  The trick is just to sit and watch it all pass by.  Here, have a humbug.


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