The Little Book Of Christmas Stress Paperback – 6 Nov 2003
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About the Author
Rohan Candappa lives in North London with his family, including two small children.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
'But It's Only March!'
If you run a large supermarket encourage your customers' festive feelings of joy by putting out Christmas stock earlier and earlier each year.
The Turkey Conundrum
No one really likes turkey. If they did they'd eat it more than once a year. But try not serving it for Christmas lunch and a lot of your guests will be disappointed and feel secretly cheated.
With this kind of muddled thinking at the core of our national psyche is it any wonder that we have little chance of getting rid of the historical anomaly that is the Royal Family?
The Fruitcake Fruitcake
Insist on making your own Christmas cake. Weeks ahead of Christmas Day buy the half a ton of ingredients, plus the assorted cake tins, cooling racks, etc. that you need. Add up the cost and realise it would have been cheaper to go to Harrods and buy their most expensive offering. Press on regardless and spend what seems the best part of a whole day making the damned thing.
Then store said cake till Christmas Day when on first cutting into it you discover that, having left it in the oven for probably 10 seconds too long, you've produced nothing but a very expensive doorstop that's about as moist as the Mojave desert during a particularly dry drought.
All Wrapped Up
Wrap your presents two weeks in advance. Place under tree. Forget to put tags on.
Oh God, Not That Again
At selected moments try to spoil everyone's Christmas Day by bringing religion into it.
The Festering Season
When visiting friends, slip unwanted turkey, sprouts or Stilton down the back of radiators.
Encourage merriment and japery around the dining table by surreptitiously decorating everyone's seat with a seasonal and festive holly leaf.
Never keep the receipts for any items of clothing that you buy for friends and relatives. That way the ungrateful swines won't be able to change them for something more 'their style', 'their colour' or 'their size' the moment your back is turned.
You're a Right Card, Aren't You?
Card manufacturers, why not cash in on people's goodwill by producing Charity Christmas cards where a ridiculously small amount of the price paid actually gets passed on to the Charity you are so piously supporting?
A Little Light Entertainment
Why not endear yourself to your neighbours by erecting a spectacular selection of lighting displays on your house, your roof, your trees and your front garden, featuring charming Christmas scenes both religious and secular? Aim for a combined Blackpool Illuminations and Las Vegas effect. Only make it far less subtle.
(N.B. This is a particularly effective ploy if your neighbours are middle class and hence, supposedly, know all about good taste.)
Ahh, Bless Them
Make sure any children you encounter understand that the true meaning of Christmas is to get as many presents as possible.
'I can't believe it's been a whole year ...'
Send cards to people you contact only once a year. Suggest that 'we must meet up in the New Year'.
Know that you never will.
Christmas in the Smallest Room
Replace your loo roll with festive tinsel.
It's Right He Should Suffer
Go round to Aled Jones's house. Screech 'I'm Walking In the Air' through the letter box.
Preferably late at night.
What's It All About?
Throughout the festive season loudly complain that the true meaning has been lost. But never actually do anything religious yourself.
Assiduously mark all the programmes you want to watch or video in the bumper Christmas TV guide. Count them up and contemplate just how sad you really are.
Buy a new jar of cranberry sauce to replace the half-finished one you've still got in the fridge from last year.
And This Is Me
If you're a celebrity living a life of shameless, almost psychotic attention seeking and excess, throughout the year do everything in your power to distance yourself from the lives of 'ordinary' people. Then at Christmas try to con money out of the public by bringing out an 'autobiography' that 'reveals' that you're just a normal person like everyone else.
Don't Forget the Christmas Puddings
Always buy large boxes of chocolates for friends that you know are concerned about their weight.
Amuse your in-laws by sellotaping a sprig of mistletoe to the buckle of your belt when you go round to visit them.
The Fifty Best
Assiduously read all the lists of 'Fifty Best Presents' that the papers and magazines print in the run-up to Christmas. Then contemplate just what a tasteless cheapskate you are when you realise that you don't like any of them except the things you think vastly over-priced.
Remember to get, well in advance, the details of last posting dates for overseas cards and gifts from the Post Office. However, forget to post said mail in time.
Some Jokes Are a Little Hard to Stomach
When going round to a friend or relative's house for Christmas lunch, a cheerily wrapped packet of indigestion tablets makes an excellent 'comedy' present that your host will never, ever be 100% sure you meant purely in jest.
Before Christmas lunch unscrew the lid of the salt cellar.
'While shepherds washed their ...'
Store up merriment for your friends and relatives by secretly teaching their young children rude versions of Christmas carols.
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