Happy Humbug Day

2012-12-10 19.49.01
Happy First Xmas

And once again it’s that time of year where everyone spends a ton of cash sending bits of paper through the mail to people they haven’t seen since that holiday in Torremolinos in 1997; stress themselves silly trying to get the last remaining [insert current trendy toy here] for the kids for them to cling to for a week before binning it for the next piece of cheap mass-produced, but well-marketed crap; assault their digestive systems with far too much… well, everything – especially sprouts.

Yet for some reason, people call it a celebration.

Humbug.

OK, let me be specific. Humbug to all the stuff in the first paragraph. It’s fluff. It’s unnecessary. It’s nice, I suppose, but in the end it succeeds only in making the retailers happy.

What makes most of us happy at this time of year? Spending time with the family. And I include myself in this – despite recalling many, many holiday seasons in the past which I enjoyed hugely simply because I was on my own.

The Americans have one thing right. Which is pretty poor, given the size of the country, but hey. One thing’s better than nothing. They have the Thanksgiving holiday. A holiday the sole purpose of which (OK, sole other than to make Hallmark even richer) is to bring families together and make them recognise that they all have something to say “thank you” for. It’s non-denominational. It doesn’t exclude anyone based on race, colour, creed, height, or even if they’re ginger. Hell, they even invite non-Americans if they’re kicking about in the country on their own.

It is more important for Americans to be with their family for this one annual meal than it is at any other time of the year.

Here in the UK, we don’t have Thanksgiving. The closest we have is Xmas/Christmas/the December holiday. Family is what it’s all about. Kids opening those crappy presents they’ll have broken before the batteries (which you forgot to buy, you fool) run out. Grandad pretending to be Santa, handing stuff out. Thirty+ people crammed into a house designed to hold half a dozen if they think elbow room is a luxury.

And the one or two members of the family celebrating it with a little one who’s going through it all for the first time.

That’s me, that is.

Humbug to everything else. The best Christmas present I ever received arrived 5 months to the day earlier. She wasn’t delivered by a fat bloke in an ill-fitting suit. She was delivered by my beautiful wife, Gillian. She needed wrapping when we got her. She’s self-powered – we just add milk and sloppy stuff from tubs. We’ve also managed not to break her (although at times it feels like she’s breaking us).

She’s beautiful. Perfect.

This is her first Christmas – and I couldn’t be any more thankful.

So, to all friends and family – have a brilliant day, but specifically:

Gillian – thank you. For being my wife and the mother of all three of our children. I can never repay what you’ve given me. But I’ll do my best.

Ellissa – we don’t always get on, but you’re the best annoyingly pre-teenage daughter a man could ever wish for.

Austin – I defy anyone to claim they have a better son than I have in you.

Ann – if it weren’t for you, I’d not have Gillian. Mothers-in-law like you are the reason Bernard Manning ran out of steam all those years ago, and I can never thank you enough for letting me marry your daughter.

Mum & Dad – I know you were generous to a fault all these years, and I had some cracking presents. But I’m sure you’ll agree that none of them can match what I have to be happy about today.

And in case you forgot who it was writing all this: HUMBUG.

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Bah, humbug!

pound sign £
The true meaning of Christmas - these days anyway

Just so you know you’re at the right blog, my traditional Christmas greeting to you all.

Best wishes to everyone out there. I hope you all get the chance to be with your respective families and enjoy a relaxing day off from the rest of the world. Eat well, drink well and watch a ton of crap telly.

My personal aims today are to watch Little Cuz destroy 3 sapient pearwood‘s worth of wrapping paper, see both my grannies, have a decent bit of scran at my aunt’s and ensure I get to see Dr Who and the last episode of James May‘s Toy Stories.

Don’t forget – Christmas is for children. They’re the single best thing about it. So if you don’t have any to hand, just act like one. With luck, nobody will notice.

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Don’t send me cards!

It’s time for the annual message, folks. Please do not send me any greetings cards. It’s both Christmas and my birthday this month and I really don’t want or need cards. The thought is appreciated, it really is. But I’m between houses (as ever) so have nowhere to decorate.

Besides, there are better uses for your cash than folding bits of paper. If you were considering sending me something the please just drop a quid into a charity box (your choice) instead. Your choice.

If you insist on getting cards, then kindly get one from here.

Thanks, as ever!

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Bah humbug – poll results, new poll and stuff

Bah Humbug Cake
Bah Humbug Cake

One quick picture of a co-gift from Sharon and her mum. Mrs Sharon Senior is one of the world’s leading exponents in making very nice xmas cake indeed. Sharon iced it. The cheeky cow.

On a xmasy theme… another two-question poll. The BBC Magazine has an article about the use of “xmas” and the reasons for/against it. What are your views? The second one’s a simple one – how festive are you?

For the record, I use “xmas” because I’m not religious and, partly in deference to those who are, prefer not to refer to something I don’t believe in. I’d not expect a practising Christian to yell “Oh, mighty ALLAH!” if they banged their thumb with a hammer, for instance! Also, it’s less typing and I’m lazy.

I’ll let you all guess as what I put for question 2.

And finally, the results of the previous poll about home security and how violent we should be allowed to get with the filth who wander in and think they can nick all our stuff, rape our dogs and piss in our hollowed-out skulls. Basically, you lot seem to be closet psychopaths, but are less likely to go ahead and kill a thug even if you feel they deserve it.

You’ll learn… I can help.

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Results of Home Security poll