Allow us to guide you through the mine field that is a quality
Christmas with our festive a-z guide.
Allow us to guide you through the mine field that is a quality Christmas with our festive a-z guide.
A is for Anaphylactic Shock
If hosting the cul-de-sac Boxing Day afternoon drinks gathering,
always ensure you are familiar with any allergies your guests may
have before passing round a seasonal bowl of premium mixed nuts
with accompanying pair of sterling silver nut crackers. Food stuffs
that contain nuts, such as a premium nut selection, Just Brazils
chocolate covered brazil nuts or Toffeefee , can cause serious injury
to those allergic to nuts.
B is for Brandy Butter
It's a common misconception that a wife should prepare home-made brandy butter
for the Christmas dinner table. While 'home-made' affords the opportunity
of using the finest mature brandy, and remarking on that fact to
dinner guests, it overlooks a fundamental problem; not everyone
likes brandy butter. By purchasing premium-luxuary brandy butter
from a supplier such as Fortnum and Mason the subtle yet indisputable
display of decadence and spending prowess will be obvious to all,
regardless of which accompaniment each guest may choose for his
or her christmas pudding.
C is for Christmas Crackers
Imagine the scene. You dinner table has been prepared with microscopic
attention to detail. Your turkey breast is succulent and moist and
your range of condiments wouldn't look out of place at one of Balmoral's
most lavish festive banquets. A cracker is pulled and a yellow miniature
plastic hair-brush spills onto your linen table covering with all
the subtlety of a volcanic fart at midnight mass. By all means scrimp
on crackers for the children's table but spend anything less than
£150 per 6 crackers for the main table and your guests will think
you've gone quite insane. As a guide, and to maintain lifestyle
parity, a half dozen of crackers should cost approximately 0.1%
of the current list price of your most expensive car.
D is for Decorations
Most households have a box of christmas decorations in the loft
some of which are so old, the Woolworths price tag still says Winfield.
If this is you, you have made two horrific mistakes. The first is
to troop out the same old tat each year with no regard for trends
in seasonal decorative fashion. The second is that you purchased
your decorations from 'the high-street'. Cheap and cheerful is more
than acceptable for the children's activity room but for your signature
display you need to go so upmarket you're practically vertical.
Premium department stores can cater for most needs but mix and match
with off the peg and some bespoke items from a selection of luxury
E is for Egg Nog
It may be all the rage in the United States of America at this time of year but nogs of any sort are simply out of bounds. The only circumstance in which nogs are a permissible tipple are if you and your family have spent some time living in America and can pass the warmer off as a quaint tradition you simply had to export. At all other times, an offering of sweet or dry Sherry should always be your opening gambit.
F is for Father Christmas
Not 'Santa' or 'Santa Claus'. We didn't give America away only
to retain this ghastly trans-Atlantic moniker for our most special
and elusive of Christmas visitors. At all times, 'Father Christmas'.
G is for Games
Games and Christmas go together like ham and honey glaze, but don't
resort to the Who Wants to be a Millionaire DVD for entertainment.
First or second edition. Trivial Pursuit (TM), Cluedo (TM) and at
a push Pictionary (TM) are acceptable pre-packaged games. Charades
is obligatory and should never be referred to as 'Give Us a Clue'
unless Lionel Blair is joining you for Christmas day. Though why
you'd want to extend your exposure to his nauseating brand of inane
buffoonery by engaging him in competitive horse-play is beyond us.
H is for Hamper
It may be the prize of choice for the Church Christmas raffle but offer a hamper
sourced item to a christmas visitor and they'll assume all your
christmas offerings are the product of charity or good luck.
I is for Icing
Smooth, silky and whiter than white. Don't be tempted to poison
it with miniature snowmen or plastic holly. Your icing should be
more that capable than standing on its own two feet. Remember to
check alignment with a laser spirit level.
J is for Jesus Christ
The reason we're all going round and round this festive merry-(christmas)-go-round. And round. Room in the inn? You must be joking luv. It's our busiest period.
K is for Kitchen
It's where the magic happens if you are the lady of the house.
If you're the gentleman of the house it's strictly out of bounds
and in any case, there is nothing in there you should remotely concern
yourself with. The little lady will have it all under control.
L is for Lambrusco
Eat drink and be merry may be the motto of the season but Mary mother of God don't try and get merry on this tart fuel. Have some decorum and serve a quality sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France.
M is for Mother-in-Law
It's a seasonal tradition that this bloated old sow be tolerated
for a minimum of 48 hours or at least long enough to secure a generous
bequest in the miserable bitches will. That said, old people are
to be treasured, so with that in mind why not beat the f@!*ing old
witch to death with her own broomstick and have her stuffed and
put in the corner of the billiard room. (Do not try this at home).
N is for Noel Edmonds
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without an entertaining dose of Noel Edmonds. That is if you are the type of person that considers it acceptable to sit in front of the television all day gawping at whatever seasonal tripe the light channels are serving up to the ill-educated masses.
O is for Orange
Pop one of these in the children's Christmas stocking and watch
their faces light up on Christmas day morning. Remember to supplement
with an i-Pod and mobile telephone.
P is for Pantomime
Take your children to one of these tawdry productions if you must but for goodness
sake don't tell anyone. These crass variety shows have little or
no cultural value and serve only to artificially lengthen the careers
of vulgar end-of-the-pier comedians, down-market song and dance
men, failed soap opera stars and Christopher Biggins. If you can
afford it, and one would hope you can, take your children to the
Vienna New Year concert, or at least make them watch it on television
on New Years day.
Q is for Queens Speech
Watch it. It is your Monarch and society may just as well go to hell in a handbag if this Christmas tradition gets lower ratings than the offensive offerings from more liberal television stations.
R is for Recipe Books
This tip is for the lady of the house. On no account have recipe books visible to family guests when preparing the Christmas feast. If you're any kind of 'Domestic Goddess' you shouldn't need them at all.
S is for Snowman
In the unlikely event of a white Christmas it is essential that
you do not allow your children to build a substandard snowman in
the front of your two ample gardens. The head should be correctly
proportioned and decorated with a fine cashmere bobble hat with
matching scarf and gloves applied to the torso. The nose should
be of carrot and purchased from a premium quality supermarket of
fresh produce vendor. Three lumps of coal should be used for buttons
and two for eyes. Small pebbles should be used to fashion a perfectly
balanced mouth displaying a contented smile. Accessorise with a
traditional broom. If there is enough snow, make an entire family
of perfect snowmen to represent your own family.
T is for Turkey
Golden brown, the size of a mid-range family saloon and cooked to perfection. Your reputation as a housewife depends on it.
U is for Underwear
Gentlemen; feel free to buy your wife seductive underwear for Christmas.
Ladies particularly like to abandon their everyday housewife image
by adorning themselves with cheap poorly fitting garments your rushed
out to buy on Christmas Eve. The more the items you've chosen make
her look and feel like a £50 a trick prostitute the happier she'll
be. A word of caution though, not all ladies react in the same way
so do use your judgment on this particular issue. If all else fails,
some lavender bath crystals always go down well.
V is for Vienetta
In our original Xmas guide we described this as 'saccharine pap', but
this was to overlook the cultural significance of this landmark dessert
and dare we say it was a rather snobbish review rather out of keeping
with the tone of the rest of this guide. Time and nostalgia has caused
us to reevaluate this dessert and only the most militant Nigella
disciple could do anything but smile if this landed on the Christmas
When Walls Vienetta first hit the freezer cabinets of UK supermarkets
one's place in the social pecking order could now be determined almost
entirely by the colour of one's vanilla ice cream. This was the era of
the bright yellow soft scoop. Indeed, Tomorrow's World scientifically
proved that a 5 litre tub of Bejam vanilla soft scoop was observable
from space using only a pair of standard issue British military field
glasses. The pure brilliant white of the original Vienetta shining like
a beacon from the dinner party table was a clear sign that one had
'arrived'. Every child of the 1980's will have at one time or other
asked themselves the question "If only the little brown tray was made of
So, while it remains essential that you limit your use of shop-bought
desserts to only the finest London-based artisan and boutique outlets
and strive to bake your own, it's still Christmas so reserve a place for
a bit of Vienetta.
W is for Wife
By the end of the festive period your wife will have no doubt proved
herself to be every inch the domestic miracle worker you always
knew she'd blossom into. Nothing says thank you darling like an
evening off so prepare her a robust gin an tonic and allow her to
relax for a few hours. She can do all the dishes tomorrow.
X is for Xylophone
It remains as uncouth an instrument over the festive period as
it does the rest of the year. On no account should you allow your
child to play this instrument in the school Christmas concert.
Y is for Yule Log
Oh bugger it. Buy it from M&S dust it with extra icing sugar and serve it up as a home made special. Who is going to know the difference? Well, we all will but my god old girl you've done us proud this Christmas so we can let you off just this once.
Z is for Zulu
So what else are you going to watch on Boxing day?