Big FAT Festive Fibs

Passing off shop-bought mince pies as your own? That’s nothing! I asked a few female and male friends of mine to reveal the truth behind the porkies we all love to tell ¼


“I hate Christmas”
No, you don’t. You’re just furious that the gulf between the fantasy and reality is so enormous. Have a stern word with your inner child and remind her that your childhood Christmas heriones, Tiny Tears, Pippa and Sindy, probably grew up to be perpetually stressed working mums. And, though Barbie can now afford Botox and a Christmas break skiing in Aspen, she’s still engaged to Ken, which is pretty sad given that she’s over 40 and has a wardrobe full of wedding dresses.

“I love Christmas”
No, you don’t. What you really love is the idea of waking up to a fat stocking hanging in the fiireplace bursting with cashmere and Cartier, and some small, attractive, sweet-smelling children playing contentedly until 11am with their hoops and sticks, instead of whining about not getting an X-box. And you love the thought of a brisk country walk (so deep and crisp and even!) after the leisurely non-confrontational lunch with your nearest and dearest that has somehow been magicked onto a table beautifully laid by elves. And you love the idea of toasted marshmallows and your own home-made mince pies while watching It’s A Wonderful Life, followed by a snifter or two of sherry and a cold (free-range) turkey sandwich during an amusing game of charades. And best of all you love the thought of waking up on Boxing Day with all the washing up done and without a hangover, just before the cab arrives to take you to the airport where you will catch a plane to New York for a few days’ shopping in the sales. Bless your optimistic little heart.

“Let’s have lunch in the New Year”
Nice try, but it’s not going to happen, is it? What will happen is that one of you will cancel on the day of the lunch and then you will reschedule immediately, and then the other one will cancel the next day (she’s remembered she’s got an apointment with her financial adviser, whom she’ll also cancel) and then both of you will lose interest in the whole idea until about May, when you might end up having a quick coffee, which will be constantly interrupted by urgent phone calls from the office, etc.

“I’m going to lose half a stone by Valentine’s Day”
That’d be Valentine’s Day 2005? So why delude yourself when the whole point of February is that the whole point of February is that you can get away with dressing like an Inuit? Even in bed. Especially in bed.

“Men are useless”
No, they’re not. Your man is useless. And your best friend has been trying to tell you this for years, but you just don’t want to hear so it’s up to me to tell you instead. Sorry.

“I used to be a fashion victim but I’m so over it”
No, you’re not, but you daren’t even think about anything by Marc Jacobs before you lose that half stone.

“Next year I’m taking a career break to travel”
Great idea, but you won’t because your idea of ‘travel’ is a long-haul flight and two weeks poolside at a Caribbean hotel.


“That’s it: I’m not drinking again”
Tonight perhaps, but only to rack up points on the booze reward card all men carry in their heads, to be cashed in the next night on a bumper binge ending up in a wheelie bin.

“Don’t call a plumber/carpenter – I can fix it”
Uhuh. Probably something to do with caves. With the right tools every man can forge marvels. When Beirut plasterwork and biohazard plumbing result, it’s clearly down to the wrong tools.

“Christmas: it’s the thought that counts”
Unless that thought is: ‘This Christmas my beloved will surely prefer the fruits of my model motorbike-building sessions to a Gucci shift dress.’

“That woman’s really looking at me!”
Actually, you doofus, she’s looking at you in the hope you’ll stop gawking at her.

“I don’t snore”
When you’re snoring you’re asleep – ergo you’re not aware you’re snoring.

“I am an excellent firestarter”
A Christmas special: as the lady of the house wrestles with a turkey, Fireman Sam heads off to do something primal with logs and a box of matches. Half an hour later he has asphyxiated the family and immolated the dog.
[email protected]