Presents and Parties

It’s early December so that means that the newspapers are full of the usual shite coming up to Christmas. Inevitably, like the shops pumping out I Wish it Would Be Christmas Every Day, there is nothing really new in any of this.

I always love to read the broadsheet supplement guide to Christmas presents. For Her. For Him. For a Teenage Daughter. For a Son. For a Spoilt Brat. For a Toddler. For the Dog. For Your Spinster Friend Who’s Desperate at this Stage. For fucks sake.

The Daily Telegraph are usually the best, reflecting their blue nose readership. It’s great to know that some pinstriped gel-haired City trader can dress his chick in a bra and knickers the value of which would bankroll an entire child’s Santa wish list. I hope he gets the present he thinks he deserves.

Ah yes, Tory grandees eating cured ham with truffle shavings and some sort of oil strained off the cleavage of a Polynesian Islander. Washed down with a lively red recommended by the former Sommelier at the Garrick. Their wives get some sort of exquisitely contrived ornament that will last until the boisterous family labrador jumps after one of the treats it has been bought and smashes it into smithereens. Do Dogs Know Its Christmas Time?

Why the Daily Telegraph you ask. Well, I like to know how the other half lives you see. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer and all that. The Observer. The Sunday Times. The Guardian. They all have them. The Telegraph takes the biscuit for the ridiculous prices it casually suggests for a stocking filler.

Whether it’s the Irish Times telling us the country’s fucked and we should all hit some Country market in Ferbane or Bansha to pick up authentic produce at a steal or the Gear section of the Sunday Times recommending boy gadgets that make life no easier. Overly precocious frocks for youngsters costing hundreds of Euro. Wooden hand made trains and coloured numbers costing €60 or €70 that I know our ones would trash in a matter of minutes. If you miss the supplements you can watch it on the Late Late show. Sadly I was too late for that.

Still, I love reading about presents that I neither want nor that I will ever get. Nor will I ever buy them for anyone else. That’s Christmas just the way I like it. Remote control airplanes to fly round your office. Desk snooker. Robotic desk organisers. iPhone holders so you can watch movies on your tiny screen and ignore the forty inch behemoth in your living room. An inflatable shark you can steer. Just what we need in this place. I can just imagine what my life would be like with all that shite in situ.

The other feature piece that gets a run out is the Christmas Party. It’s usually either warnings about behaviour when under the influence, regrets, disciplinary consequences; how to run a good party or how much the feature writer hates this time of the year.

Today in the Irish Times Maeve Higgins has a curmudgeonly piece about how she hates parties at Christmas time. From the sounds of things she’s been to plenty. She complains about the food. The drink. About Cocktail sausages. WTF like? About the sorts of bores she meets. God help them meeting this miserable bitch is all I can say. I hear Saudi’s good this time of year Maeve.

Papers will often troop out that old chestnut about misbehaving at the Christmas party. Indeed. Having worked in a large institution for years with plenty of Festive Drinking and its fair share of debauched people, I don’t recall any of the goings on that apparently break out at parties across the country. Middle aged couples sherried up playing footsie under the table while the young account exec pleasures her boss in beside the photocopier like something out of Mad Men.

Meanwhile the office malcontent is boozed up on cheap party wine and chooses to tell his smarmy boss she looks like she’s in need of a good seeing to. Cue disciplinary hearings galore.

For those that enjoy a bit of harmless fun, the girls are boogying away to the usual  toons, the lads join them and everyone retires to the pub for injury time craic, and to talk about the boring miserable bitch that was there watching the whole thing to write about it for the weekend supplement.

Get a life. Or get a supplement to read about the life everyone else is having without you.

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