It’s CHRIIIIIISTMAS (ish) and I’m back with a vengeance!
I was astonished to see the number of views this blog has had in my absence. It’s pretty amazing the way the internet ticks on without you. But if you’ve dropped by in my prolonged absence, thank you, and I’m going to try to be less rubbish from now on.
To ease myself back into the blogosphere (what a hideous word), I’m going to make some predictions for some of the season’s classic news stories. Let’s play CHRISTMAS NEWS BINGO!
1. Record-breaking spending in the Black Friday/ Cyber Weekend/ Sofa Sunday shopping period in the UK
When did Black Friday become such a thing over here?! It’s entirely the fault of our friends across the pond, but they have the trauma of Thanksgiving to get over through the medium of splurging on cut-price electronics. Clearly Boxing Day is just too long for us Brits to wait to endure similar madness, so in 2014, Black Friday fever really took off in the UK, with supermarket scuffles left, right and centre. Even John Lewis got involved in the insanity, with more than 100 lines reduced to ‘celebrate’ the occasion. Unfortunately, now it’s here, I don’t think it’s going anywhere, and I can imagine the weekend of carnage has smashed all previous records in this country.
2. Some ‘leggy lovely’ will ‘step out’ with her ‘mystery new beau’ at a ‘swanky’ Christmas party
The Sun or the Daily Mail will be all over this. Probably someone like Taylor Swift or Caroline Flack or Kelly Brook or Kerry Katona. I don’t know if any of these people already have a ‘hunk’ on their arms or not, but it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a photo of a female celebrity in a glitzy dress holding hands with someone who – GOOD LORD – is NOT famous.
3. An interminable dullard will talk about how it’s all ‘consumerism gone mad’ and how they’re refusing to participate
Guardian columnist. Probably a po-faced, snarky account of how his wife’s family loves Christmas and always goes to town, while he sits in the corner being Scrooge-like and not daring to crack a smile, lest anyone think they might be joining in with the festivities.
4. Outraged customers will demand their money back from some awful North Pole-themed attraction #crapland
OK, so the news actually beat me to this one – in November! Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, for whom I have always had a bit of a soft spot (has anyone else in the world watched the TV show To The Manor Bowen? There’s a marvellous Christmas episode where he goes to Fortnum & Mason) has come under fire this year for his shoddy ‘The Magical Journey’ winter park. Was Changing Rooms not enough of a warning?! A man with such a penchant for stencilled flowers and flocked wallpaper should not be trusted to design anything. THINK OF THE CHILDREN.
5. About 14 villagers will demand that the local council change their minds about the secular name of their festive celebrations, declaring it ‘political correctness gone mad’
There is ALWAYS a story about someone, somewhere demanding that we put the Christ back into Christmas and forget about all this Winterval/ Snow Festival/ Reindeer Ruckus nonsense. ‘BUT WE’RE A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY’, they lament, ‘AND NOW WE’RE NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN CASE WE OFFEND SOMEONE!’ Except, nobody’s saying that, are they? Bonus prediction: this story will be ripped off from a local paper on a slower-than-usual news day and will find its way into the Daily Express, probably with a woeful headline like ‘IMMIGRATION NATION NON-CELEBRATION’.
6. A campaign to knock The X Factor single away from the Christmas #1 spot
How about this time though, we go for something lovely like Greensleeves? Lutes are so underrated.
7. The Metro will pick up on some slightly leftfield food item that has been on sale for years and caterwaul about it as if it’s brand spankin’ new
Maybe this year they’ll get first wind of Heston Blumenthal’s hidden orange Christmas pudding, or a turducken (a chicken in a duck in a turkey), or that godawful Christmas dinner in a tin (why didn’t they just call it a Christmas tinner?) that does the rounds every December. Perhaps this year they’ll be caterwauling about yule log, or sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts, or goose fat.
8. THE BEAST FROM THE EAST IS COMING
My favourite Christmas news theme in recent years has been THE BEAST FROM THE EAST. This is not, as one of my esteemed colleagues thought, Putin, but instead it is the wild wild weather front that comes in from Russia, bringing with it high winds and freezing temperatures. In the South East, at least, we had no snow at all last winter, so hopefully THE BEAST FROM THE EAST will zip into town and give us some long-overdue snow days, complete with black ice and the subsequent, inevitable stories about how busy all the A&E departments are.
Eight is my favourite number, so let’s stop there. But rest assured, I could do this all day. Instead, I’m going to set you the same challenge. Which news stories are you expecting – nay, hoping – to see this Christmas? I’ll be keeping my beady eye on the news in the coming weeks, and will report back on how many of my Christmas wishes came true.