Christmas A – Z… “N”



Is for…

New Year’s Resolution: Ha! Honestly, I arks ya! *tsk*

The biggest problem with NYR’s is that they allow no compromise or wriggle room – they are usually deals of the “all or nothing” kind. This means that the whole thing goes tits up on the first transgression, which usually occurs within about the first forty-eight hours. Generally speaking, the biggies for NYR’s are giving things up (smoking, drinking, eating, gambling…), and New Year, coming at the height of the whole festive partaaay season, is by definition probably the single most difficult period to follow through on any of those good intentions. How, for instance, are you supposed to give up overeating when you’ve still got four packets of mince pies in the cupboard and all the strawberry and orange crèmes left over from the tin of January1CalendarQuality street? The fact that you don’t like the orange and strawberry crèmes is neither here nor there – however disgusting the centre might be that outer is made of PURE CHOCOLATE, and at some point you’re going to find yourself scraping at the crud in the middle with a cotton bud and gobbling the shell out like a starving badger going at a discarded KFC bargain bucket.

A small tip: If you are hell bent on giving up something this year do it in February or March, and take to it on the softly, softly one day at a time principle. Better to fall off the wagon three or four times and to quietly get back on than to loudly announce to the universe that you’re done with whatever it is you’re giving up forever and make yourself look like a bloody idiot at the first fall from grace. The same applies to that shiny new gym membership card in your purse and/or the fold-up exercise bike newly installed in your hallway. Make like a Scottish spider and be prepared to try, try again. That’s the way to do it!


Noel: If you grew up in the eighties or nineties you could be forgiven for thinking that the first Noel the Angel’s did say was Noel Edmonds, but it wasn’t, and his domination of our Christmas TV schedules probably owed more to a pact he made with the divvil than to the work of Gabriel and co. What with Swap Shop, Noel’s House Party, the Christmas Morning at great Ormand Street Special, the Top of the Pops Christmas Special, the Telly Addicts Christmas Special and that other quiz show thing he did Christmas Special there was no escaping the bearded bastard. Or his spotty pink and yellow cohort Mike Smith Mr Bloody Blobby.

Thankfully Noel’s career tanked in the late nineties and he disappeared from our screens, taking his hideous jumpers and Mr Bloody Blobby with him. Sadly, after brokering another deal with Beelzebub – this time brazenly hinted at in interviews with cryptic references to ‘cosmic ordering’[1] – Edmonds returned to our screens in noel2005, fronting an inane guessing game in which idiots contestants open boxes one after another while cheered on and encouraged by a panel of idiots box openers and a live studio audience of idiots. The idiocy game is overseen by a mysterious “wanker” “banker” who is so ashamed of his role in the show that he remains hidden throughout, supposedly giving instructions to Edmonds via the bat phone. There will undoubtedly be a Christmas Special edition of Deal or no Deal, or possibly even several, and these may even be celebrity specials featuring people like James-he’s-got-a-face-I-would-never-tire-of-punching-Cordon or Russell-if-he’s-a-comedian-my-cock’s-a-cuttlefish-Howard. It’ll be on Channel 4, in the late afternoon, so make sure to avoid it.


Nuts: Whole hazelnuts – UGH! – Cadbury’s take ‘em and they cover them with chocolate. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Younger readers will have not a clue what I’m on about, but those of a certain age will smile wistfully and perhaps start singing ‘Golden Wonder, they’re jungle fresh’, or perhaps ‘I want a Trio and I want one NOW!’ Ahhh, them’s were the days. But I digress, yet again…

NUTS: A Christmas without nuts, said Oscar Wilde, is like a party without music: Piss Poor. At least I think it was Oscar Wilde (?). Either way, Christmas is a great time for us nut lovers, but a potential minefield for those who risk anaphylactic shock and possible death should that ‘nut free’ jar of homemade mincemeat bought from the Farmer’s Market prove not to be quite as advertised. Tartlet Roulette, anyone?

For centuries now grandparents have been telling grandchildren that a handful of nuts and an orange were pretty much it as far as Christmas went, but of course they’re lying out of their back teeth. If they have any back teeth. Great-grandparents possibly, but even here I think most of the time assertions such as this should be taken with a pinch of salt. Or a handful of salted nuts. If you have a grandparent who tells you that all they got for Christmas was a handful of nuts and an orange then you’re quids in; give them an orange and a handful of nuts for Christmas and tell them you wanted them to have ‘an old-fashioned Christmas just like the ones they used to have back in the Good Old Days.’ Hoisted by their own petards they’ll have to just smile gratefully (and possibly gummily) and thank you kindly, while you laugh all the way to the bank. Ha!

My favourite nuts are peanuts, which are not, as pedants love to point out, nuts at all but legumes. Pedants can go pee up a rope – they are nuts as far as I’m concerned and I bloody love ‘em, the fattening little buggers.


[1] Cosmic Ordering is a form of delusional Woo practiced by believers of delusional Woo and/or pedalled by those who encourage and exploit them. Clearly, if there was any foundation to the premise that ‘wishing for something makes it come true’ Noel Edmonds would be dead already.


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