Ah. Christmas the time of cheery carollers, sleigh bells, and happy families. Or, looking at it less romantically, the time of burnt dinners, family fights, and divorce.
That first Christmas together. That’s the one that sets the pattern for all the others. Do not go to his mother’s. Or yours. Ideally, see no one and do a lot of sex.
Given that that isn’t happening, here are a few ground rules.
1. Do not be cozened into buying them tins of mixed sweeties. There will be at least two thirds that nobody likes. You will be reduced to feeding them to the dog in August.
2. Booze. Do not buy eggy stuff. It looks like snot and it tastes like snot, and nobody will drink it. If granny likes a Snowball. Buy a couple of ready made ones in pouches. She will only go to sleep with her face in the sprouts if you give her proper booze.
3. The Turkey. You do not need something the size of a Shetland Pony to feed you, your husband, and granny. Small is beautiful. After all nobody really likes turkey anyway.
4. Cooking. There’s a lot of rot talked about Christmas dinner. Do plenty of roast potatoes and a ton of them little sausages wrapped in bacon, because that’s all anybody eats.
5 Most importantly. The Punch. It should be very strong. And to begin with it should taste nice. After The Queen’s Speech it pretty much stops mattering. By that time people will drink meths.
And that is the secret of Christmas in a nutshell (NB do not buy nuts. Somebody – usually your new husband’s cousin from Reading – will inevitably display the symptoms of anaphylactic shock if you do).
1 litre brandy
1 litre vodka
1 bottle ginger wine
1 litre pineapple juice
1 litre ginger ale
1 net of baby oranges
1 large tin pineapple chunks
Loads of glacé cherries
Punch bowl/clean plastic bucket/WHY
Cut the oranges in halves, then throw everything in the punch bowl. Drink much of it yourself.