Season’s bleatings

Like most things this year, Christmas Day is going to be a bit weird. Still, we can nonetheless make an effort to ensure we enjoy the yuletide season to the maximum and, to that end, I’d like to do my bit and offer a few handy hints.

First, get a big fat chicken instead of a turkey; chicken tastes a lot nicer than turkey does (in fact so do Christmas crackers, come to think of it). No one will complain except for that family member who complains about everything anyway. In fact, everyone will probably thank you for it because it’s one of the unwritten rules about Christmas - nobody really likes turkey but no-one dares say so. There, I’ve done it for you.

Next, make an effort to start drinking even earlier than usual this year, maybe even before you’ve got out of bed. The extra strain of these very odd few months needs some release after all, and what better remedy than a wee stiffener before you’ve bothered to take your jim jams off?

Now then, the TV schedules. This is important. Don’t give the remote control to dad under any circumstances no matter how much he protests or you’ll end up watching Snooker’s Funniest Moments And Only Fools And Horses on a loop, even though it’s not 1986. Anyone under the age of thirty doesn’t want the remote - in fact doesn’t know what one is - so that leaves grandparents or mum. I suggest grandparents because mum’ll feel sorry for dad after half an hour of Brideshead Revisited and will cave in, offering him the zapper and, quite possibly, a cup of tea. Plus, grandparents might not know how the remote control works which. Let’s face it, given the average Christmas TV schedule, could well be a mighty blessing. Teenagers sporting grumpy faces will stare at phones , posting - somewhat ironically - smiley faces.

Next, games. Please no Monopoly - this is the turkey of the board game world in that nobody really likes it, although the board itself is almost certainly slightly more succulent than any turkey I’ve ever tasted. Ditto, charades. Teenagers aren’t likely to sacrifice screen time to watch dad miming Del Boy falling through the open bar hatch and grandparents’ hips aren’t likely to be up any heavy acting action; after all, Hips Don’t Lie - Shakira told us that, so it must be true.

Finally, throughout all of the above stages, be sure to top up your glass with anything vaguely alcoholic to keep reality at bay. As we all know, the moment that pesky blighter rears his ugly head , it’s game over. A detached haze is, I’m sure you’ll find, the order of the day.

Merry Christmas, everybody.