Monday, 26 November 2012

Christmas is coming...

And the goose may well be getting fat but not round these parts.  I'm currently in denial, having done NOTHING about Christmas yet.  I had intended to get up early on Sunday and shoot off to John Lewis but it seemed pointless when no bugger has given me a Christmas list so I have no idea what to buy.  

On Skype the other night, the Shah informed me that he wanted a Boxing Game for the X-Box (I tell you, he's regressing).  But, I told him, the X-Box belongs to son who is skint having spent 99.9% of his money on Hockey and Lager and wild wild women (this is no exaggeration, I promise).  He is planning to sell it to fund more Lager and more women and possibly skim off a few meagre groats with which to purchase minuscule Christmas presents for his ailing parents and arsey sister.

"Fukkit" roars the Shah.  "Now I'll have to buy the X-Box off him as well".
It's astonishing really that someone who is so financially acute, who works in the big, bad world of banks, cannot recognise a false economy when it rears up and bites him on the jacksy.

I am not a great fan of Christmas.  It strikes me as a load of hard work for very little return and I have previously mentioned the crap presents the Shah has bought for me in the past.

However, son and I were reminiscing about Christmases past on a car journey recently and ended up weeping with hysterical laughter when we recalled his father's adventures one year.

When the children were smaller, they attended a lovely little school run by a kind, caring and deeply religious headmaster.  Christmas was a big deal at this school and the Christmas Fair was hotly anticipated every year.  The parents were a supportive lot and many mums and dads helped out in various roles.  One year the Shah, experiencing an unaccustomed burst of initiative, decided to throw himself into the festivities.

"What will you do?"  I asked.  "Man the Tombola?  Help draw the Raffle?"
"Nay!"  Cried his Lordship.  "I'm going to be Father Christmas!"
"Don't be stupid," I said in a warm and loving way.  "You can't be Father Christmas - YOU'RE BROWN."  Duh!
"So what?"  chirped the Shah.  "The kids won't notice!"

He wasn't to be dissuaded and nobody else seemed to have a problem with it, so the whole horrible shebang went ahead.  It was decided that the Shah and another dad - coincidentally a friend and partner in crime of the Shah  - would share the onerous task.  A small "grotto" (more grotty than grotto) was curtained off, costumes were hired and a couple of very unwilling Year 6 boys were press-ganged into being Santa's Elves.  The Shah took the first shift.  Two small children went in hand in hand.  They came out a little while later looking a little shell-shocked and tearful but clutching a gift each.  A queue was building.  I stuck my head through the curtain to ask the Shah Santa to shift his butt as the natives were getting restless.

"Okay" sez the Shah.  "I suppose I could not tell them to give me a hug at the end?"

"Don't talk rubbish!" retorts the Shah.  "Everyone hugs Santa!"

And he continued and everyone hugged him and guess what?  Yep - nothing.  Common sense reigned.

About an hour in, two small boys emerged, one clutching a water bottle.  "Erm, Santa says please could he have some water cos he's very hot in there?" they said in their little piping voices.  I took the water in.  The Shah was indeed very hot, so much so that he had turned a strange Mahogany colour and, always inclined towards hydrosis, was dripping unattractively with sweat.

Enter the Headmaster.  "How's it going in there, Santa?" he asked jovially.  
"Fine, fine," lied the Shah with great ease.  "I'm hoping Jim will be along in a minute to take over."

Enter Jim.  "Oi veh!" he quips, "Mazeltov Shah!" (Jim liked to camp it up at every opportunity). It was at this point that a slow dawning could be seen on the face of the lovely, kind, Christian Headmaster.

Somehow he had ended up with one Hindu Santa and one Jewish one.  

Shortly afterwards, he was seen winning a bottle of Scotch on the Tombola.  He'd been teetotal up to that point...


  1. The sweaty huggy all-comers Santa - they should all be be in the revue we just saw in San Francisco called Beach Blanket Babylon - with a headful of lights and full sleigh and reindeer hat he would have fitted right in. What a good sport your hubs is!

  2. OMG, I just had a look at the gallery on their website. I see what you mean - the Shah would fit right in! (Loved Adele and the Royals!)

  3. What a great story. Did the Shah volunteer to be Santa again the next year too? :)

    I just bought a bunch of stocking fillers from Hawkins and StockingFillers, and my DB's pressie all to be delivered to my mum who decided to take off for the week. I just hope the neighbour's in!

  4. The thing is, Sarah, I honestly believe that all the best comedy moments come from real life and this was one of those. Your mention of Hawkins Bazaar takes me back a few years to when mine both had stockings. These days my daughter still demands a stocking but it has to be filled with makeup and girls stuff and good old Hawkins is out of the window!

  5. This did make me laugh!

    I thought Hawkins bazaar had closed down? Our local shop isn't there any more.

    Dougie has taken a few days off this week so we've been shopping together. It's been great not having it all on my shoulders.

    1. Thanks Trish. I think some Hawkins stores have gone but they are still operating online. The Shah gets home tomorrow for good and, to celebrate, I suggested a lovely day out christmas shoopping on Saturday...imagine his response!

  6. You make me feel better about nt having started yet. Oi veh! Brilliant!

    1. I've got to start soon - I always end up leaving everything till the last minute and grinding my teeth while all my friends and colleagues are wittering on about how they finished theirs in July.... :-(

  7. The shah sounds like a really good sport...and I feel better about not having Christmas shopped yet, as I am not the only one!

  8. I think the thing about the Shah is that he tends to embrace things wholeheartedly! He's just got home from Kuwait and I've reminded him that we are Christmas shopping tomorrow - he's not happy!

  9. Great story!
    I have to start Christmas shopping in time for the advent calendars to be suitably filled - made when the girls were small, and talk about rods and backs! Just like poor Father Christmas the Advent Calendar Fairy has found a balloon or a chocolate coin are no longer acceptable gift items.

  10. OMG I'm glad its not just me! Last year, I bought my daughter an Advent calendar with 24 little drawers in it. It cost me around £50 and most of my sanity to fill the flipping thing as not only did I have to find things that are acceptable (as you say a balloon and a chocolate Santa get a big thumbs down) but they had to be small enough to fit into the drawers. I have refused to do it again this year but, unfortunately, I have also failed to buy her a substitute so I am out of favour on all fronts! :-(

  11. Brilliant post, I would have loved to have seen those 2 Santa's at the Christmas Fair, and the headmaster's face!!

  12. Thank you Jay - I'm not sure if the Shah has read it yet - he may not agree with me destroying his finest hour!


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