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The PFPT Christmas Message

The Ghost of Christmas Misanthrope

The Ghost of Christmas Misanthrope

Each year on Christmas Day, HRH Queen Liz (we’re on informal name terms after I got invited round to her’s for a spot of tea and cake back in 2011), manages to get out of her Simpsons onesie and put aside her tin of Quality Street for just long enough to deliver a speech about families, togetherness and sage & onion stuffing (maybe not the last one) to her loyal minions. Not being one for telling jokes (that’s her husband’s area of expertise), she bores people into an afternoon snooze that can only be broken by the sofa-trembling trumpet of turkey-farts.

Traditional it may well be, but it’s also one of the most harrowingly tedious memories of my childhood (coupled with the fact we were denied our Christmas presents until she’d finished wittering on at 15:00 in the afternoon) and so I’m not particularly fond of it and believe that there are better Christmas Day speeches to be made. Being one who puts her money firmly where her mouth is, I just so happen to have prepared one for you, my loyal minions readers!

(Oh, by the way Lizzie, I totally know you pre-record your speech and are actually up to your knees in lavender bath sets and chocolate corgis on Christmas afternoon. Well, two can play at that game!)

Ladies and gents. I give you The (pre-recorded) PFPT Christmas Message!

Christmas is a time for sharing, for family and for togetherness. Well, unless you’re not one of the few people in the world who actually has a fully functioning nuclear family, who actually like each other’s company and who have oodles of cash! For the rest of the populace, it can be a time for trauma, for misery and for sulking. The one thing we can all agree on is that it’s a time for booze and food.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, if your life happens to be wonderful all year round, but I would ask those of you in healthy, happy families, to spare a thought at this time of year for those with little social skills and bad breath, who have no friends and whose loved ones want nothing to do with them. For these poor souls, it is a desolate time of being reminded just how pitiful their existence is. Every cosy advert family, every “family” sized tub of chocolates, every festive hand-holding couple throwing romantic snowballs at each other – all these just serve to remind the Christmas loner how miserable this time of year truly is.

Worse than the knowledge that everyone else will be tucked up all cosy with their nearest and dearest and a board game, is the offer from some good Samaritan to join them and their family in their traditional day of intimate family fun. Giving someone a front row seat to the show of all-that-you-don’t-have is like tying the noose for them!

Spare a thought also for the single people at this time of commerce and good will. Everyone knows that Christmas is a time of giving, but it is also a time for receiving, for counting presents and for bearing a grudge. Think of the gay man or single gal, bravely facing the hell hole that is the toy store at rush hour, to purchase items of joy and fire hazard for all the darling little nieces and darling little nephews that their relatives insist on squirting out. They then stoically gather designer smellies and socks for the husbands and wives that their siblings and parents have gathered, each one paid for with funds that should otherwise have been supporting a barman through university, and then imagine the sheer amazement and wonder that having forked out for 57 gifts, they have only 3 by return, sitting under their incredibly stylish tree – “This one cheap gift is from your brother, my wife and all 5 of our horrible, ungrateful little brats.” Merry Christmas indeed.

For those who go “home” for Christmas (seriously? Where do you live the rest of the time?), a thought should be spared for you also. Having a family to spend the festive period with does not guarantee a jolly jingle time. Think about it – you spend most of your year trying to limit the amount of time you spend with incontinent Uncle Gropey and a great deal of energy avoiding prolonged exposure to maternal critiquing, so what bright spark thought it would be a clever notion to gather all these individual renegade relatives together, coop them up in a home fuelled by cheap sherry and unreasonably smug expectations, simmer for at least a day (add Terry’s Chocolate Orange-hyped children and drum kits as required) and expect anything other than enough heated tempers to spark a house fire with all the frayed nerves lying about the place?

[Having said some warm and fuzzy stuff about families and togetherness, and made everyone feel united and cheery, Queen Liz then generally rounds up the year’s key events. Who am I to break with tradition?]

Ok, so this year the news has had stuff about some athletes, a paedophile, some gunmen, a dead drug addicted diva, a grown man actually claiming to be called “Mitt” and a pregnant royal. Either a really controversial pop group or the worst interpretation of The Nativity Scene ever! I was hoping this was going to be the year that I became a Bond girl and that cattle prods on trains became legal, but alas, these are but utopian dreams still to be realised in 2013.

And so, with thoughts of joy and harmony filling your hearts, I ask you to think of one last person this yuletide. One who will suffer so very greatly this Christmas, whose pain will match that of Mary as she lay in a pile of donkey-wee soaked straw, squeezing out the son of God (Joseph, seriously? You fell for all that “virgin” malarkey?!) sans epidural. This good hearted soul will spend the day enduring intolerable agony, all in the name of love. You see, this is the first Christmas that Boything and I shall be spending together and I have insisted, much to his chagrin, that there shall be Brussels sprouts. Well, nothing says “Merry Christmas” like the scent of a half digested sprout.

Merry Christmas, one and all.


About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

42 responses »

  1. Moving, touching and reminded me of my own “anus horibilis” a few years ago. Check out my cook Fanny Redcrack from a post on monday for a ecipe for sprouts. Merry Xmas.

  2. Merry Christmas !!!

    BTW, you do realise that actually liking brussel sprouts is one of the first signs of mental illness?
    If you feel like you are about to partake of the dreaded sprouts, let me know – and I will come over and feed you chocolates, until you realise that spouts are at the bottom of the list of likeable foods.
    Failing that, we can try some aversion therapy. First, I just need to check if your car battery is fully charged and you have jumper cables to hand.

    I hope you appreciate that helping you with your brussel sprout problem on Christmas Day means that I will have to give up my usual stalking activities. Such a sacrifice doesn’t come cheap, so be prepared to stock up on pizza and drink as payment.

  3. Marry Christmas PFPT! As always, another hilarious and well written post!

  4. Until you’ve spent a Christmas or two with your in-laws, you cannot begin to appreciate the wonder of a Christmas spent completely and blissfully alone.

    • Inlaws, outlaws – it’s all the same when it comes to turkey-farts and fighting over the remote.

      I spent the day alone one year. Up there with my favourites ever. (Cue horrified gasps from the family feud addicts).

  5. I am glad I don’t have to endure the toy store, my sister being a bossy cow gives me a list of acceptable gifts for my niece so I just order them online. Next year I’ll just give her the cash so she can order them and I don’t have to carry them to her house. Have a great Xmas

    • I’ll let you in on my sectret. I shop by “Amberzon”. I buy everything on Amazon and have it delivered to my sister Amber, who dutifully wraps everything and distributes the goods to the relevant relatives, meaning that I don’t have to go near sellotape or my not-so-nearest and dearest. Result!

      • You have this down to a fine art

        • Years of practice and a very obliging sibling.

          • missy amber

            You’re just damn lucky that I secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy wrapping and distributing presents. I spent a happy half hour in Poundland selecting an array of their finiest ribbons, baubles, clip on glittery flowers and snowflake chains to adorn my stylish Ikea candy strip gift wrap. I then couldn’t let the man-thing near the sellotape, as he didn’t “get” the “concept”. Sigh.
            Just one more day and I can get back to be a lazy witch who neither cares about nor participates in household chores.

  6. charmedbylove

    Merry Christmas! I am most fearful of gift exchanges and receiving non-unisex gifts! =X

  7. Hahaha while I’m all up for the Christmas cheer, its nice to hear the other side! Particular since all week a band of tuba-players have gathered outside our office window and played the same carols all day straight.


    Also, I was sad to see that you forgot to mention the torture of spending Christmas not only with your family, but alas, your step family. Yay for the holidays!

    • i think the term “family” should be redefined as “any group of people you are forced to spend Christmas with based on marriage, blood or obligation”. All bases covered.

      You’ll find a turkey crown makes a perfect stopper for a tuba, when dropped from a window with malice and force.

  8. Oh, my girl, this is my life. I was feeling a little low, but the image of incontinent Uncle Gropey cheered me immensely. You are my Bond girl, and my condolences to Boything for the impending Brussels sprouts.
    ps. I shall be reblogging this–can’t do one whit better.

    • Just think – for every person who is openly glum about the whole festive thing, there are 20 others pretending they like it while secretly harbouring jealous feelings towards all those able to spend the day alone, at the bottom of a bottle of port.

      As for being your Bond girl – does that come with a pension plan? 😉

  9. Reblogged this on A Mind Divided and commented:
    From my British muse across The Pond. How she sees into my life is eerie.

  10. Merry Merry. I don’t care for the sprouts, but I hope Boything brings glad tidings of comfort and joy!

  11. Happy New Year: a holiday not involving any gifts but sharing some drinks with fun people. That’s after you leave the family behind after Christmas.

    • The one time of the year 24 hour boozing is not only acceptable, it’s positively encouraged. Although, to be honest, after a whole December of celebrating, I’m usually asleep by 22:00.

  12. Jingle bells poptoe. With a diabetic coma inducing tree like yours, its going to be a great Christmas! I have a feeling in my bowels this is going to get pressed!

  13. Diego Serrano

    Cool image.

  14. Aaron goldfinch

    Thanks for reminding me of the great British Christmas! When it’s 38* and you live next to a beach called Ipanema it’s easy to forget all of the Xmas traditions. I’m off to the supermarket to see if I can find me some sprouts but I don’t like my chances! Merry Christmas Pop Toe! X x x

  15. We get good old Liz’s speech over here too but I totally missed it this past Christmas because I was outside in the snow playing with my dog in minus twenty something weather, pity I suppose, but it’s so much more fun to do that on the farm than it is in the city. That cracked me up about the name Mitt too, when I first heard that I was sure it had to be a joke.


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