The True Meaning of Christmas

The true meaning of Christmas is, as any nine year old could tell you, the loot. Booty. Swag. Plunder. Gelt. It is rich food and rich drink, too. It’s a nap in the afternoon if you damn well want one. It’s one thoroughly sybaritic day at the ass end of a long, tough year, just before Winter turns deeply nasty.

I wish you well, you folk who observe the 2007th birthday of that Middle Eastern rabbi fellow today, but it makes me sad to think you’re missing out on the real spirit of the thing.

Happily, the rampant consumerism, crass commercialism and secular character of Christmas is alive and well, even today.

I made out like a bandit this year. All my gifts were well received, and in return I got a great pile of loot. A big new harddrive for my laptop and the stuff to turn the old drive into a portable USB drive (have you seen these things? They’re smaller than a pack of cards!). My favorite whisky. My favorite beer. A pile of books. A pile of chocolates.

I’m sprawled on the couch before a coal fire in a rat’s nest of empty boxes and wrapping paper, wearing my new black high-tech thermal underwear, wool hiking socks and Hobgoblin t-shirt. I look like some particularly obscure, unloved supervillain (bow before the great Repulso, puny hu-mans!).

It’s two hours after Nap Time and an hour before Drinking Time and I’m officially feeling no pain. We’ll start with a nice bottle of fizz and improvise after that. Later — in the wee hours of the morning — a full Christmas dinner. Because that’s the way we like it.

Here’s hoping yours was as delightful as ours.


  1. Posted December 25, 2006 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    You could easily call yourself
    Stoat the Bandit. :)

  2. Posted December 26, 2006 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Coal fire?

    Bad form. I insist on a wood fire at Christmas. It contributes more carbon to global warming.

  3. Posted December 26, 2006 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    This is England. They used up all their wood building an armada to whip the Spanish. Most of the houses have these narrow coal grates you can’t get a log into. (MOST of them have the fireplace boarded up, these days).

    Still, they sell sacks of coal at filling stations, and it doesn’t half put out the heat.

  4. geoff
    Posted December 26, 2006 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like you’ve got things under control. Always thought Christmas in London would be incredibly romantic. Or at least filled with pub crawls.

    Don’t forget to look right instead of left when crossing streets.

  5. Posted December 26, 2006 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget to look right instead of left when crossing streets.

    No kidding. I almost got squashed by a bus in London making that mistake. It’s just habit to step off the curb while you are looking left. A friend yanked me back to the curb one half second before the bus passed six inches in front of my nose. My buddy told me that foreigners get killed every year that way.

  6. Posted December 27, 2006 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Crossing a road in the U.K. is like
    carpentry. The old saw of ‘measure
    twice, cut once’ can be applied as
    look right, look left and then
    look right again before advancing
    your tooties into oncoming traffic.

  7. Posted December 27, 2006 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Look at your feet. They very kindly paint “Look Right” on the pavement in London to try to control the problem of scraping foreigners off the fronts of their cars. Of course, I look down, read that, instinctively look left anyway and then step in front of a bus. Generally, I’ve settled on the “head swiveling around in all directions like a junkie in need of a fix” technique.

    We’re actually on the South coast at the moment, though.

  8. geoff
    Posted December 27, 2006 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the “Look Right” warnings are just something distracting to read while I’m looking left and stepping in front of a bus.

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