Yes it's that time of year again folks!
It's been that time of year for the last two months if you are in desperate retail, hoping to make 60% of your turnover in the last few weeks of the year just because people adhere to the Victorian Christmas fantasy.
Why oh why oh why???!!! Why do people HAVE to have a new kitchen or sofa "in time for Christmas"? What is the significance of a new DFS three-piece on the end of the year? Why do we all HAVE to send Christmas Cards to people we haven't seen all year and get back their round-robins about how their son has graduated in Nuclear Physics and their daughter has saved a rain forest and their cat is so cute it has been accepted to front a new cat-food commercial and they had a lovely three weeks in the Maldives in June? Why do we HAVE to try and compete with the bastards who finished their Christmas Present shopping at the end of July and "just have a few bits and bobs to get"? Why do we have to drive past the houses of morons intent on making their houses look like Piccadilly Circus with ridiculous illuminations? Why do people keep trying to bring religion into a perfectly fine Winter-Solstice-End-of-Year Festival?
So, as Noddy Holder's agent treats the wife to a fortnight at Champney's on the strength of another batch of annual PRS cheques, let's celebrate the Winter Solstice, the end of the year with a feast of proper reasons to be cheerful. Apart from Jonah Lewey and his irritating earworm.
One of my best remembrances of Christmas is the smell of the laminated cover of a brand new Rupert Annual in front of a day-time coal fire.
What's your best and worst memories of Christmas?