Please excuse me for not bringing you the latest round-up of the newspapers, a post that will have to wait until tomorrow. Yesterday, instead of the Breakfast Club, we opted to visit our respective families so I haven't had much of a chance to peruse said papers yet.
But, feeling the need to post something, I thought I'd talk Christmas.
Today is the first Sunday in ADVENT, so in churches up and down the country (across the world, even) Christians will be holding special services and lighting the first candle on their Advent Wreath.
Which means for Husband dearest it is now time to officially bring out his 'Christmas Hat'. Not what you might be expecting, this seasonal hat is of the commonly seen Santa type but instead of the traditional red with white trim, husband dearest's hat is black with a white trim and sports the words 'Bah, Humbug'. Not that he objects to Christmas altogether (honestly he doesn't) - he just doesn't like celebrating too early.
Anyway, getting away from 'the' hat. Over the last few weeks, various family members have been asking what we'd like for Christmas (I say 'we', they've been asking me - knowing better than to ask Husband dearest) and over the week-end the pressure has really been on us. But, despite thanking them and saying book vouchers are always welcome or, for those with computer access, pointing them in the direction of our Amazon Wish Lists (what a brilliant service this is), people still seem determined that, this year, perhaps we'd like something other than books or DVD's, so .........
For Christmas this year, here is one present I'd dearly like to find under the tree and another I wouldn't be so keen on finding.
YES PLEASE: In China, physical trainer, Xiao Lin has begun a new sideline - he's renting himself out as a human punchbag for stressed women! So far the service at his gym in Shenyang has only attracted two customers, but he says they both looked much happier after a few minutes pummelling him. (I just bet they did. Not one for using physical violence, I could quite happily use his service - after all, this is a man's livelihood we are talking about.)
NO THANKS: Quite possibly the most depressing Christmas present ever devised, guaranteed to make you wish the giver had the imagination and sense of occasion to get you an ironing board cover: your loved ones can now defray the national debt on your behalf, by making a donation to the Treasury in your name.
Well, it's not something you'd do for yourself, is it? The 'Whittle Down The National Debt' initiative is being billed as a wonderful present for children and grandchildren with £20 being the suggested donation. It's certainly an affordable way to make someone feel as if they're not making a difference: estimates of the national debt level range from £8000 billion to £1,340 billion. Estimates of your personal share of this start at £13,000 and rocket upward. And when the government comes for it, it's unlikely they'll take your £20 gift certificate into account.
- An edited version of an article by Tim Dowling, reporting in the Guardian.
And finally, though now pet less ourselves, here are a few pressies that Whiskas or Rover might like to find under the tree.
For Rover, how about a PET STROLLER priced from £44.99?
For Whiskas, SANTA RUSTLE PANTS, at the much more affordable £7.99?
And, last but not least,
For Hammy, a CRITTER CRUISER, at £19.99?