And under your Christmas tree tonight, a set of gifts you’re allowed to open under the Royal German Christmas rules of opening presents the night before, even though Santa hasn’t been yet. Featured specials are multicultural Old Nick, laurel berries as a much needed change from holly, the spirituality of Christmas telly, postal reform in a seasonal context, and the magical reality balance of small kids.
In an ill-advised fit of festivity last night, I chalked up a Happy Santa on my kitchen blackboard. In the original he looked more like a mad Mullah, but chalk is a forgiving medium, and so now – after some revision – he has come through quite successfully as a Yoruban Father Christmas. It is in the nature of blackboards to achieve that result, and I make no apology for it.
However, the season of Goodwill is under way, and so here’s a gratuitous picture of local seasonal berries what I took with my camera last week:
I’ve been getting into the more spiritual side of the Season today by watching some of the Christmas Eve movies on the telly. It’s a spiritual thing to do on account of every last actor, director and clapper-boy involved in these films having been dead for quite some time. Some of the cinema on display is so old, the extras have tails. But then, the retailing of spirits is a key part of contemporary Christmas.
I got a letter this afternoon from Virgin Money, offering me a new password that runs out 30 days from the date of the letter. It’s taken 22 days to get here. So taking out the holidays and extended weekends, that gives me five days to use it. And, you know, I do have other things to do. Also these days, I forget a lot of stuff.
An Olympic standard marathon-walk athlete could’ve got it here quicker. He could’ve got sponsorship and given me 5% of the proceeds.
I think enough is enough with the world’s postal systems. Starting on January 3rd 2017, they should keep all the staff they have, but follow the following policy:
- Allow all people over 75 free letters and post cards
- Follow this policy as long as there are over 5 million people alive born on or after January 1st 1935
- Quadruple the price for Government departments and banks too cheap to treat their citizens and customers with some respect
- Shoot all the managers, systems analysts, postal workers and van drivers involved in any Christmas Cards arriving after December 25th posted on or after December 21st.
But because it’s Christmas, not in front of their families. I mean, it’s those details that make the difference between being barbaric and civilised.
Many years ago, a black friend of mine born and brought up in Washington told me what he claimed was a genuine Christmas story about his small son from a previous marriage.
As he was tucking the boy (aged about five) up on Christmas Eve, the following exchange took place:
Boy: Daddah, I done decided oll that Santa Claus stuff jess ain’t fer real.
Father: Why, haha hey, are you kiddin’ me? Of course he’s for real.
Boy: No he ain’t.
Father: Nah cermarn, where yo gettin’ idees like that one boy?
Boy: Cos this like a solid black neighbourhood Daddah, an’ ain’t no white man on Earth dumb enough ter be hangin’ out here after one in the monin’ wid nuttin’ more than a few reindeer for protection, an’ thassah fact.
Now today, idiots would dismiss that anecdote as racist. But the thing I’ve always loved about the tale is that the kid was more than happy to go along with the idea that one bloke – wrecked and dangerous from whisky consumption by the time he got past Greenland FFS – could get round 6.3 billion homes in one 24-hour dateline period powered by six Swedish animals and guided by just the one shiny nose. With that part of the legend, the little boy had no problem whatsoever.
As for the 27 billion Beano annuals, Gaming consoles, paedophile avoidance manuals and trikes all going onto one sleigh roughly six metres by four, nope, that was fine too, he’d heard about Dr Who and that wasn’t a problem because space is an illusion.
But the idea that the oddball at the reins of this flying object without wings would land in a black ghetto crammed with valuable gifts after dark and expect to come out alive….that simply didn’t compute.
Anthropologists and neuroscientists should spend a lot more time talking to kids of that age than we do. Their capacity for belief in magic – the kids, not the pointy-heads – is still balanced by a logical left hemisphere. The Labour Party (and millennial Hillary nuts) would gain exponentially more from the experience than most.