OUR columnists Jane Wenham-Jones and Mike Pearce don’t need a certain supermarket to remind them that Christmas is for sharing.
Every year, she gets out her sparklers, he dusts off his baubles, and they get together to wish you a joyful Christmas.
This year, they look at having fun – whether you’re a Jolly Jane or a Moany Mike.
Jane: Carols make Christmas. Whether it’s the Salvation Army in the High Street or the Thanet Male Voice Choir in The White Swan pub. I don’t get to church very often but I like a decent sing-song when I do. Midnight mass is an uplifting way to start the festivities – if one is still awake by then. A plea our good reverends: candles not light bulbs? The last time I went to a certain church late on Christmas eve, it was lit up like a supermarket.
NB If you can find a spare child take them to Christingle – a recent survey shows that one in five children think Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea!
Mike: It doesn’t matter which carol service you choose, there will always be a bloke in the pew behind you who is a bellowing bull, a Pavarotti wannabe. He will be with a screech-owl woman, sounding like a Spice Girl in a cat fight. Try starting each verse a second early – throws ’em every time.
Jane: Should just be for kids. We all spend too much on things nobody really wants or needs, but were handily on offer (after Black Friday the whole nation is getting a coffee machine or electric toenail clippers). But if you insist, consumables are best and won’t require a declutter. Champagne, chocolates, bath oil or perfumed candles will usually hit the spot (it’s not too late – my birthday’s next month).
Mike: Infuriate any intelligent relatives you’re not too keen on by giving them a Russell Brand book. As with all things, the pleasure is in the anticipation, so raise expectations among teenagers by putting socks in an enticing Apple Store bag. For ghastly kids, stick a Cilla Black CD in a One Direction cover.
Jane: Is the antidote to all those relatives. Be generous and helpful, take a nice gift and a moment to remember how lucky you are to have people in your life who are not from the same gene pool.
Mike: Arriving in a haze of alcohol fumes and incontinence is poor form, but effective. Sneezing or scratching guarantees you can get away with an early exit. Explain you have only popped in for a minute on your way to somewhere fabulous.
Jane: Brings me out in a rash. To be attended only under duress, when one has small children in tow, and a hip flask about one’s person. I hate audience participation. Oh yes I do… etc.
Mike: If you’re dragged along, cheer the villain, boo the good guys. I tried it once and the embarrassed lady I was with banished me to the bar. Result! Think of it this way – The more boos, the more booze…
Jane: Last year after a late change of plan, I got the turkey at 4pm on Christmas Eve. What a bargain!
Days “between the years” can offer up good reductions too. Don’t buy too much of anything – not only will it get wasted (who actually eats nuts and dates and marzipan biscuits in the shape of a reindeer when they’ve already pigged out on roast potatoes and pudding?) and cost a fortune but you need to run out of something for an excuse to get out of the house (relatives! Remember?).
Mike: Have fun getting a month’s worth of supplies on December 10. Yes, I know that’s too late for this year, but remember it for next time. Stuff your pantry, stuff your freezer and stuff the do-everything-at-the-last-minute laggards who grizzle about aisles packed tighter than Santa’s stockings. If there’s one thing better than being stocked-up for Christmas, it’s being smug.
Fun presents for each other
Jane: This year I’m giving dear old Mike his own Himalayan Goat, a “Save Manston” T-shirt and recognition in the Hall of Fame at Turner Contemporary (he lives in hope of a kiss under the mistletoe with Iris Johnston, but as I always tell him, he can’t have everything…).
Mike: A pile of her novels piled high in prime position at Waterstone’s. Or better still, an empty shelf, where they were stacked before they were all snapped up. Right, that’s more than enough goodwill for one Christmas.
Have a happy one, from us both xx
You can read the original article at: http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/season-jolly-moany/story-25738188-detail/story.html#ixzz3MOBuBKlh
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In between my ‘Bah Bumhugs’ I wish you both Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.