All I Want For Christmas…

I was helping the Child Units with their letters to Santa today and an interesting question popped up.

“Can we ask for anything we want?”

Well, of course. It’s Santa. You might not get everything you ask for, but you’re allowed to put anything you like in a letter.

Child Unit 2 asked for everyone in the world to have a Merry Christmas and Child Unit 1 asked for her brother to not be poorly (last year he was a snot, sick and shite machine) and for Santa to get some rest on Boxing Day. This is one hundred percent, gospel truth. They’re sweethearts, bless them.

Of course, they also eached asked for a Nintendo 2DS XL and as they’re my offspring, there’s every possibility that these lofty sentiments were a bid to curry favour, but even so I was touched. Touched and inspired.

This year, i’m writing my own letter to Santa, the first for several years. I thought i’d let you all see a copy:

Dear Santa

Let’s not fuck about, Kris. You and I both know that i’m no saint but I always try to direct my boundless reserves of rage and loathing toward those who do the world ill and I think  I deserve a few bonus points, so perhaps you could nudge me over to the nice list? 

You may take umbrage, but I know there’s precedent for this. Last year the Child Units destroyed a wide range of toys and household items and i’m pretty sure one of them is leaking government secrets to a Chinese spy but you gave them a pass and dropped off a whole bunch of nonsense, so I reckon I ought to be able to pop in a request or three?

Of course, you’re welcome to bypass me entirely but you should be warned that an empty stocking for me means a full inbox for every tabloid reporter come December 26th. The whole world knows you were caught kissing Mummy underneath the mistletoe but they’ve not seen where the mistletoe was hanging, have they? Yes, I have pictures.

So, let’s put all that crap aside and just assume that i’m waking up to a whole bunch of pressies, yeah? Yeah. On to my list.

Come Christmas morning, this is what I want:

1) I want a huge vault of gold coins into which I can dive headfirst and swim about. Obviously, like toys and batteries, I need this to come with a free “suspension of physics” pack so said diving won’t result in a broken everything.

2) I would like Donald Trump to be cursed by whatever demons you can summon so that everytime he writes a Tweet, he shits himself. If we have to deal with regular torrents of his crap, so does he.

3) Talkboy. You know, from Home Alone 2? They’re awesome.

4) I only want to hear the word “lush” being used by someone who is either describing luxuriant vegetation, pointing out a gin soaked old rummy or asking where to find a shop that sells bath salts strong enough to melt steel beams.

5) Obscene amounts of cake

6) Halo 6. Make it happen.

7) I want the power to render people unconscious using just the power of my mind, should I hear them whining about Christmas coming too early. Also, if they moan about the Coca-Cola truck. OH! Also to be used on anyone who says Die Hard isn’t a Christmas film. Best just make it a broad spectrum psychic chloroform deal

8) Would be nice if you could do something about all the bastards? 

9) Get Eureka renewed. 

10) And Warehouse 13

11) And Numb3rs

12) Cancel Game of Thrones.

13) Mostly, you could leave of all the other stuff above if you could do one thing for me? Make people a bit nicer to each other? I feel like the world could use a lot more smiling and laughing and talking and a lot less sexual harassment and abuse and bullying, don’t you? 

I’d happily give up all the stuff above and anything else that anyone else wanted to get me, if you could do something about the sadness.

If you could encourage people with mental health issues to open up more and get the help they need and make sure that said help is there WHEN they need it.

If you could force people to debate instead of argue and maybe stick a muzzle on the idiots who don’t want to debate because it’s a waste of good shouting time.

If you could perhaps lay off the visions of sugar plums for a night and inject a little dream serum into the world leaders, filling their heads with visions of peace and co-operation and the realisation that whatever one’s race, sexual orientation, gender, fucking shoe size or whatever, we’re all just people. Just people, whirling about on a ball of dirt and water which will eventually blow up or freeze or whatever and all of this crap will have been futile, so why not get along in the meantime?

If you could do something about all that then maybe we could all have a merry Christmas or a happy Hanukkah or a joyous Kwanzaa or whatever else you celebrate or don’t celebrate or what-have-you. The important part really is the merry, the happy and the joyous, isn’t it?

That’d be nice.

14) Or cancel the lot and get me an Xbox One X and a massive telly.

Looking forward to Christmas morning. I’ll leave out a bottle of malt and a couple rounds of toast.

Kisses or amen or whatever,

Fingers crossed, folks!

’twas the run up to Christmas

Bad Santa

’twas the run up to Christmas and, lo and behold,
thousands of folks trudging out in the cold.
Their hands and feet frozen, the wind in their eyes.
they scrambled to get to the last few Mince Pies

The slow and infirm were trampled in the scuffle
to get to the last box of cheap Belgian truffles
While countless poor souls were lost in the fight
for a bottle of wine, to toast Christmas night.

Suddenly, the crowd spun around with a yell
and charged all at once, like a pack out of Hell.
They bashed and they battered, they pushed and they shoved
For word had got out, “M&S!” “Sale on gloves!”

“My granny would love them”,”Forget her, their mine!”
“LET ME THROUGH, LET ME THROUGH!”,”OI! Back of the line!”
From my vantage point, by a display of ties,
I witnessed the horror with my very own eyes

As each shopper vied for a place in the queue
A little old lady hobbled into view.
I cried out a warning but alas, she heard not
and was trampled to naught but a small, greasy spot

Now dashing and darting, now punching and kicking
Biting and gouging, eye poking, ear flicking
I saw one woman wield a small boy, like a club
and I watched as the poor lad started to blub

So, ’twas a mercy, when she swung with such might
that he slipped from her hands and flew out of sight
(He was found, safe and sound, some thirteen days later
in a display of cardigans, near the escalator)

Without her weapon, she was soon overcome
By a tag teaming granny and stay-at-home mum
With a zimmer frame shot to the side of the head
and a kick to the ribs, they left her for dead

They fought tooth and nail over jackets and sweaters
to answer the wishes of loved ones Christmas letters
While, in the background, the Christmas muzak plays
the same track repeated for twenty-odd days.

Son against daughter, father against mother
they beat seven Jingle bells out of each other
charging through the store like stampeding cattle
soon, the shop Santa was drawn into the battle.

He leapt from his stage, with a blood curdling yell
and upon the crowd of naughty shop-goers he fell.
He had such broad shoulders, with arms like two trees
and a right hook which would bring a Clydesdale to it’s knees

A fearsome sight in his suit of bright red
he hoisted one old dear right over his head
and with a dark chuckle, brought her down through a stack
of cut price DVD’s, snapping her back.

At the sickening crunch, the shoppers took pause
such was the wrath of this store Santa Claus.
They could tell without doubt, Kris Kringle was pissed…

And so, boys and girls, the moral of our story
is to be kind to others, or face an ending most gory.
And I heard Santa roar, as I ran for my life

Merry Christmas everyone.

Merry F@#&ing Christmas!

It’s the 1st of December, folks and you know what that means. The countdown has officially begun!

Having said that, my countdown started a wee while ago. We put the tree up last weekend, we went to an incredible, local Christmas market, we’ve worked our way through the first few DVDs on the Christmas movie shelf (oh yes, I have a whole shelf) and we’ve eaten that many mince pies that my last shite was shortcrust.

Of course, I understand that some of you aren’t quite as nutty about  Noël as I am. You’re tired of the over-commercialisation, you’re exhausted by the stresses and strains of preparing for the big, family celebration or you’re just allergic to dates. That’s fair enough. You know what’s NOT fair enough? Telling me not to enjoy Christmas because you’re a miserable bastard.

Actually, no. It’s fine. Moan and piss and whine and whinge all you like. If that’s part of your holiday tradition, then fill your boots, i’ll stick to warming my chestnuts in front of the Birchwood Log Fire on Netflix.


All I ask is that when I tell you that I love Christmas, that i’ve been looking forward to it all year and that given the current tattered mess that is my mind, I am really in need of some holly, jolly times, you have the decency to grudgingly mutter “each to their own” and go about your business of shitting all over someone else’s good times. Whatever, I guess.

I think what makes me sad is that sometimes it seems that people don’t enjoy Christmas because they’re doing it wrong, to be honest. Take this over-commercialised business, for example. We live in a consumer driven society and Christmas has, admittedly, become a big part of that. Doesn’t make it a bad thing though, does it? We all like stuff and at Christmas we can give and get stuff. Stuff is fun.

Doesn’t have to be that way, though. I was up until 5am for the past two nights hand drawing and colouring and cutting out 24 little Christmas parcels and 24 baubles. I wrote a bunch of fun activities on the parcels and little love notes and treats on the baubles, then I blu-taced them up on the wall for Marital Unit and the Child Units to discover this morning. Quick, easy advent calendar that would have Kirsty Allsop shitting herself with envy and it cost the price of four or five sheets of card.

We watch old Christmas movies, cuddle up on the couch and drink hot chocolate. We draw Christmas pictures together and put them up as a window display in the lounge. We drive through town to see all of the Christmas lights, not just the display put on by the town itself but the lights in the houses. It’s old fashioned fun and it’s like a soothing balm for the soul, assuming you believe that you’ve got one. I sold mine for a beer about 14 years ago, but if I hadn’t of done that, it would be soothed.

We do hit the shops, though. Marital Unit and I spent an entire day being pushed and shoved around a shopping centre a few weeks back, to hunt down gifts and grab little treats and oddities which make Christmas a bit more special. We’re not rolling in cash, but if we can spoil the kids a little, we will. We also work hard to make our children understand time spent with family is the best thing about Christmas and that whatever gift you get is wonderful, whether it’s an expensive gadget or a box of sweeties.

They believe it, too. Last year the kids got tablets from Santa. They were thrilled, of course. They were just as thrilled with getting a pair of fluffy, Rudolph socks each.

As for stress, yeah. Yup, can’t argue that. There’s tons to do, between shopping (again, if you do any) and cooking and cleaning and oh wait bugger me it’s not that different to any other day. Seriously, stress is always there, gnawing at you. That’s my life, anyway. It’s amazing though, that come Christmas morning when the Child Units see the crumbs left behind by Santa (sloppy eater, might leave out a bib this year) and we tuck into our traditional breakfast (croissants. What? I’m allowed SOME luxuries in life) and then yes, we open pressies…it’s worth it.  We laugh together, play with their toys, listen to Christmas songs while we get ready to go visit family and if theirs snow then you can bet your frozen ass that we’ll be building a snowman and we’ll take a nauseatingly adorable Christmas photo where we’re posing with him like he’s a real person.

Ah whatever, folks. I’m not arsed how you do or don’t do Christmas. I just hate to see people being miserable when it seems like they might enjoy themselves if they removed the industrial size stick from their puckered anus. Not my lookout, though. As Scrooge said, “keep Christmas in your own way and let me keep it in mine” and we’ll all get along like a snow-covered, country cottage on fire.

Merry fucking Christmas.

12 Days Of Nonsense

Christmas is growing near. No, it’s no good burying your head in the sand and screaming “PLEASE NO! IT’S ONLY NOVEMBER!”.
For one thing, I can’t hear what you’re screaming if you bury your head in the sand, but assuming I manage to make out your muffled complaints, you need to accept that Christmas is just around the corner and we need to prepare.


This year, i’ve decided to make a charitable donation in Marital Unit’s name (check the end of this post for some words about a bloody good cause. Please?). I thought it was a better plan than last year’s debacle.

You see, Christmas 2014 was marred somewhat by my attempt to present Marital Unit with what I can only describe as the most ludicrously lavish gift basket of all time.

Have you ever heard “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”. It’s a pretty little ditty, but a bugger of a shopping list…

First up, you need to buy 12 pear trees. People often forget that the poem actually calls for a pear tree and partridge combo on each of the twelve days. Then two turtle doves on each of the next eleven days, etc, etc, so on and so forth.

So, 12 pear trees. I got a bargain online, finding them for twenty quid a pop, buy one get the second half price. That’s £180 for the lot,

Next I had to source 12 partridges. After a bit of research, I found some bird breeder sites and the Chukar partridge seemed to be the most common. They were going for $42 a bird, so $504 or about £333.41.


Turtle doves next, 22 of them. Try as I might, I couldn’t find a single breeder selling turtle doves but I found a guy with a lovely line in white fantails, so I snapped up most of his stock at 20 quid each. Another £440.

At this point, it’s dawned on me that I have to feed all of these birds. 100kg of bird seed set me back about £85 online, I figured that would cover it for a while.

Scraping the bird crap from my laptop, I hit up the farm stock sites and acquired 30 French hens for £300 all in. I figured they could share the seed with the doves and partridges. The constant squawking seemed a fair price to pay to see Marital Unit’s face light up at the sight of her new menagerie.

Next up, calling birds. After hours sat at my laptop, birds pecking and crapping all over me, I found out that no-one can agree on exactly what the hell a calling bid is. Best guess, the word is actually “colly” and refers to sooty birds, probably the European Blackbird.


Now, turns out blackbirds are a bugger to source online. After some frightening hours in a dark corner of the internet, I found BirdsExpress. At first I thought it said BirdSexPress and assumed it was some sort of horrific breeding equipment, but the penny dropped eventually and a minute or two browsing their stock turned up a ready supply of Eurasian Blackbirds. Not quite what I was looking for but the best I could do, although the price was a lot higher than expected. £297.68 PER BLOODY BIRD! My festive flock set me back £10716.48!

Looking back, I would have been better off buying a long handled fishing net and catching my own blackbirds. You live and learn.

What with the chirruping and tweeting and cawing, not to mention the neverending torrents of bird shite, I thought it was time to get out of the house for a bit so I headed to town to buy 40 gold rings.

The woman at F.Hinds was understandably baffled by my bulk buying but after some explanation and a muttered curse about “paying for all them feathery bastards”, she was happy to help me pick out 40 plain, 9 carat gold rings. At £50 a ring, they were a bit of a bargain. Even so, that’s another £2000 on the total and i’ll admit that by that point, I was starting to think that a book token might have sufficed.

Returning home, I fished my laptop out of the puddles of bird doings and after much wiping, set to work sourcing geese.


I’m not sure how many geese makes a gaggle but I bought 42 of the honking gits and you can describe that many geese as a bloody nuisance. They weren’t actually “a-laying” when I bought them, but the farmer assured me that they had the potential to lay and at that point I wasn’t overly fussy, so £10 a bird, £420 all told and I bunged the farmer an extra £20 for his shovel so I could clear up some of the bird crap that was now threatening to drown me.

Swans were my next buy. I’d heard somewhere that the Queen owns all of the swans in the United Kingdom. I can’t remember who told me that but i’d like to give them a slap. A right arse I looked, emailing Buckingham Palace to ask them for a price list. A kind soul on the royal PR team suggested I search for waterfowl breeders and long story short, I ended up buying 21 pairs of Whooper Swans (that’s your bog standard looking swan, with a yellow beak and whatnot) for £380 per pair.

That wasn’t the end of it with the swans, though. They had to be “a-swimming”, so they needed something to a-swim in. I bought 42 six foot paddling pools (swans are big birds) at £20 each. All told, the swans set me back another £16800.. Thank god our water is rated, not metered, otherwise that would be another bloody cost.

Mind you, I think the cows trumped the birds. Obviously, I had to buy eight cows, for the eight maids-a-milking. The problem was I was still a little dazed by the cost of the blackbirds and the swans and I really don’t understand livestock auctions and…well, to cut a long story short I bought 21 cows. They were a bargain at £1000 for the herd, but the bird crap was naught compared to the gushing rivers of mess that ran out of these mooing monsters.


This is when the complaints really started to roll in. The neighbours were already getting sick of the noise and smell of 184 cawing, honking, crapping birds so imagine their horror when 21 cows appeared, turning their beautifully kept lawns into grazing land and pooing all over the patio furniture. Obviously I could have kept them somewhere else but using the local gardens as a source of grass kept costs down and by now I was starting to feel the hole this Christmas pressy plan was burning in my bank balance.

Oh I didn’t even mention the cost of the maids, did I?! Turns out “milkmaid” isn’t even a thing now! Since the advent of teat-tugging technology, the closest you’ll get is “herdsperson” and that’s  a job that usually comes with a house on the ranch. I couldn’t justify the cost of buying acres of land and building homes for the eight staff i’d have to hire, just for a few days of novelty gift giving, so I improvised. Turns out you can hire a housekeeper for £12 per hour, so two hours a day for the five days, I got myself eight “maids” for £960. They weren’t particularly gifted when it came to cattle management, but they made a good show of it.

Next came nine ladies dancing and i’ll be honest, it wasn’t everything i’d hoped. As a bit of a gift to myself I indulged my love of burlesque and hired nine performers (at £180 each, per day) to come and ply their artistic trade. The eroticism and beauty of burlesque is a powerful thing, but it struggles to shine through three feet of animal crap and you couldn’t even hear the music for birdsong, mooing and eight housekeepers complaining about the working conditions.

The real trouble started in the last few days, following the introduction of the “lords-a-leaping”. I spent a depressing day in London, pleading with the gentry, but it turns out that it’s bloody difficult to secure the services of just one peer of the realm, let alone ten of the buggers.


In desperation, I turned to one of those tacky gift sites and bought ten “Become a lord or lady” kits for £30 each. I bunged 10 of my mates £50 a piece to turn up for ten minutes each day over the last three days, bounce around the house for a bit and then bugger off. Lords-a-leaping for £1400.

Trust me when I tell you that ten men jumping about the house like over-caffeinated kangaroos is a good way to scare the shit out of your massive collection of birds and cattle. I thought the poo problem was bad before, but by crikey you’ve never seen or smelt anything like it.

I should have called the whole thing off at that point. I know I should. The thing is, I was living with a neverending cacophony of animal sound, not to mention the constant smell of faeces. On top of that, I was trying to deal with the endless complaints of a team of housekeeping staff who knew bugger all about milking and a burlesque troupe who made the poor decision to wear feather boas for their performance and were being constantly attacked by birds, all while pulling newly-made lords out of poo-puddles. I was frazzled.

So, given all of that nonsense, you’ll understand why I forgot to cancel the pipers. Eleven of the buggers turned up on the eleventh day. The ensuing riot ensured that three of the dancers will never dance again, left two leaping lords with broken legs and was the cause of no less than sixteen bird deaths by trampling.

Day twelve and there were eleven more pipers, along with twelve drummers. I sent the buggers home but I still had to pay for them.

All in all, my 12 days of nonsense cost me £46564.89, without factoring in legal costs.


I mentioned a charitable donation at the start of this post  and that’s probably the one thing i’ve written here that isn’t absolute flannel. You can check out more info here.

Fancy sponsoring one of the items from this list? Pay for a French hen, perhaps? You don’t actually get a hen…it’s a charity thing. I’m not MADE of hens, damn it. Just drop me an email, Tweet or whatever.

If you could check out my JustGiving page, spread the word, maybe even bung me a pound or two, I would be eternally grateful.

Overly commercial? Pfft…

It’s time for number nine on my countdown, “10 Things I Hate About Yule” and it’s a doozy.

9. Christmas Adverts

Ok, the Coca Cola advert IS Christmas, I will accept that (despite the fact that i’m always secretly hoping that the truck will skid off the road and take out a few of those smug looking kids, but never mind that)
However, there have been some truly diabolical Christmas adverts over the years, which just make me want to punch the nearest Santa in the sack.
Here some of the worst offenders of 2010:

i) Waitrose – Delia Smith cooks some beef

Ok, first and foremost, don’t tell me how to cook beef at Christmas.
Some people might not like turkey, I don’t care, if they don’t want to eat turkey, the chances are they already know how to prepare their preferred alternative.
Secondly, it’s a commercial break, I don’t want a cookery show inbetween segments of whatever i’m watching which, considering the glut of them on the moron box these days, is likely to be a cookery show.
Last of all, Delia uses the term “shimmeringly hot”. Shimmeringly. Hot.
I swear to god Smith, I will Hansel & Gretel you in a heartbeat.

ii) John Lewis – Ellie Goulding winges and we see various morons

Am I seriously the only person who wants the kid at the end to get savaged by that dog?
I think I could cope with this advert, people wrapping presents, Christmas spirit, yadda yadda yadda.
But what the hell is with the Ellie Goulding song?
If you like Ellie Goulding, good for you, I hope they find a cure one day.
But like her or not, would a Christmas song have been so hard to come by for this ad?
I know people who wept when they saw this advert. WHY?! WHY?!?!
I can only imagine they were thinking about John Lewis’ prices…

iii) Coca Cola – Yup. The trucks.

Yes, in a twist worthy of Shyamalan, well, better than Shyamalan, i’ve come back round to the Coca Cola advert.
My issue with this advert has nothing to do with the advert itself, it’s the fact that everyone is whittering on about it on Facebook, Twitter, MySp…ok so no-one is on MySpace, but everywhere else.
Yes, it is a truly festive commercial.
Yes, it has become a Christmas tradition.
No, I do not care whether or not you’ve seen it yet.
Yes, I will come to your home and garotte you with your own fairy lights if you mention it again.

There are thousands of other adverts but i’ve got to go scan every channel for hours until I see those Coca-Cola trucks.

Back soon with number eight…