It’s hardly ever been my habit to do a Christmas column but I am conscious that today Christmas Eve is virtually upon us and people are inextricably enmeshed in the whole thing.
Unfortunately everybody in my tawdry trade has something to write or say about Christmas when the time comes. What can I usefully offer?
I’m not (not all the time anyway) one of those surly malcontents who affect to despise the Season of Goodwill as the Season of Good Business. When you have grandchildren, as I have, Christmas makes irresistible sense.
But as nearly everyone I know is aware, I don’t send Christmas cards. I tell them I pretend to give the money to charity and really spend the money on more drink. They tend to believe me, which is a worry. I am not fond of turkey but I eat it up like a good boy. I like pulling crackers for the jokes. But I never get a paper hat which fits my head.
I like giving presents, usually hard cash for the grandchildren and the children of friends of mine.
I like party time as long as, nowadays, I can get to bed early. I fight for my right to watch old movies on television, as long as they are not those of the late Elvis Presley.
As for this year I have had an e-mail from my nine-year-old granddaughter Grace, a Cringle, who lives with her parents in London, as follows:
‘I thought of some jokes over the past couple of weeks. If you want the answers it will be £1 each. What do you get if you cross a snowman with a shark? Sent from my iPod.’
It was obviously sent in the spirit of Christmas, as well as making money. I didn’t know the answer and I expect more jokes are on their way, under the same fiscal arrangements.
She has now told me the answer and if any of my readers want to know what it is, it will cost them £1 each. This is Christmas Cringle Style.
That’s as good as it gets for a Christmas column. But last week’s did have a whiff of Christmas when I reiterated my pleasure at being able to drive along the walkway of Loch Promenade opened for people to park while hitting the shops in downtown Douglas.
In this I mentioned that one of the regular signs to be seen there, saying ‘Beware Pedestrians’, was missing this year. After that I saw that the sign had reappeared. Or had it been there all the time and I hadn’t noticed it? That’s another worry.
Right, that’s all on Christmas. People might like to know what the column going to be about next week.
Well, it’s going to be about the time Nelson Mandela visited the Isle of Man.
You don’t believe he did? But I thought Christmas was all about belief and believing.
This week’s letter of complaint to a local authority: ‘I wish to report that the tiles are missing from the outside toilet roof. I think it was bad wind the other day that blew them off.’