’ Tis the season to be jolly glad it’s all over

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DON’T worry, folks: a week today, it will all be over.

Mainly, anyway.

There’ll still be the left-over turkey to force down even though, strictly speaking, no-one really likes turkey. And there’ll still be enough Slade being pumped into the atmosphere to warrant a reasonable complaint of human right violations. And probably there’ll still be the relatives hanging around, not taking the hint they’d outstayed their welcome half an hour after arriving.

But, mainly, a week today, we’ll be on the home straight to January when we can get back to being miserable again. Which, after all, is what makes us happy.

Ah, Christmas. There’s nothing worse, is there?

Don’t get me wrong: I appreciate the socks as much as the next nephew.

But, really, when you think about it, when you get down to the £4.99 baubles, December 25 is pretty much the most disgusting orgy of greed, gorging and gran-getting-boozy this side of a Caligula party, isn’t it? A relentless frenzy of crass commercialism masquerading as well-wishing, which, if the baby Jesus hadn’t sort of invented it, Amazon almost certainly would.

Aye, that’s Christmas. Does it make me Scrooge to say so?

Perhaps, but then I always did admire his fiscal genius and realist world view. I was never sure why the slum-dwelling Bob Cratchit was so festive. The only present his children were likely to receive was a dose of dysentery.

Still, at least that would negate the age-old Christmas morning crisis of not having batteries.

Kids today, hey? Spoiled.

Not only are they more likely to get an Apple instead of an apple in their stocking; not only are they allowed to gorge on chocolate until they’re sick (eta 9am); and not only do we have to put up with this new liberal thinking that they should be heard as well as seen; these days they also get advent calendars with – the utter decadence! – a 25th door.

What is with that? Why would any child need a door on Christmas Day itself? They’ve already got half of Argos under the tree. To demand an extra picture as well, it’s too far. This generation have been appeased too much. Mark my warning, they’ll be making a grab for Poland next.

And the old folks? Even worse. You know who you are. Sat snoring on someone else’s sofa, waking up for five minutes at a time to start an argument before snoozing off again until – no matter how deep the slumber – you hear someone put the kettle on.

My grandad used to do that, actually...

And when I was young, still young enough for the Beano annual to last me into new year, I’d get tired in the afternoon too, and I’d climb up on the sofa and fall asleep right there besides him. And that was alright.

Because that was Christmas then, and it wasn’t so bad. And maybe now, when you don’t think about the £4.99 baubles, it’s not either.

For when all the moaning is done (and I’m good at that) and the mendacious marketing made redundant, and the 25th door opened, and the arguments had, and there’s just you and some people you like really wearing paper hats in a room with Only Fools And Horses playing in the background, it’s alright, isn’t it?

It’s nice. Despite myself and December’s stress, I’m always sort of sad when Boxing Day arrives.

Because then all we have is New Year’s Eve. And don’t get me started on how awful that is.