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'Tis the Season
Fascinating festive fact #22: The least productive day of the year is the last day of work before Christmas
Fascinating festive fact #21: Within the next 6 years, emailed Christmas cards are prophesised to overtake actual hard copies of good wishes as a way of spreading christmas cheer
Fascinating Festive Fact #20: There are somewhere between 3 and 33 syllables in each line of the average Christmas Carol Cliff says: I went to a carol service recently. I hadn’t been to one in ages and it was great. It really was, and I haven’t said or sung anything...
Fascinating Festive Fact #19: Nobody remembers the person in second place.
Fascinating Festive Fact #18: More than 70% of Christmas shopping accidents are directly or indirectly attributable to a substance known as gluehwein.
Fascinating Festive Fact #17: Well over three-quarters of all presents received at Christmas are crap. It's not because your family and friends don't like you: it's because Christmas and Crapness go together like the holly and the ivy.
Fascinating Festive Fact #15: Christmas is not the holidays Cliff says: People who call Christmas "the holidays" annoy British people. Holidays in the UK are things that you go on with passports and loved ones. "Are you going home for the holidays?" No, I go home from the holidays. If...
Fascinating Festive Fact #13: If one town turned off all their Christmas lights, enough energy would be saved for the whole country to keep their televisions on standby for an entire week Cliff says: Christmas is a waste of energy. The lights, the paper, the packaging, the shipping of gifts...
Fascinating fact #12: Christmas is the leading cause of death in Turkeybirds. We reveal the other top causes.
Fascinating Festive Fact #11: Only 1% of cards sold in Britain each year feature the baby Jesus. Meg provides a full breakdown of the figures.
Fascinating Festive Fact #10: The birthrate in most western countries rises sharply nine months after Christmas, peaking in August. Anna explains why.
Fascinating Festive Fact #9: Christmas Is Not Traditional. Cliff rains on your parade, bursts your bubble and pisses all over your strawberries. Sorry.
Fascinating Festive Fact #8: Each year, primary school children make enough paper chains out of gummed paper to encircle the globe. Twice. We help you to make your own paperchain, the 'Tis way.
Fascinating Festive Fact #6: 80% of people don't feel properly Christmassy until they finish work. Meg explains why it takes time for the festive spirit to kick in.
Fascinating Festive Fact #5: Christmas Advent Calenders DO NOT Shut Down For The Holidays. Cliff shares a frosty Santagram.
Fascinating Festive Fact #4: One in five sandwiches sold in Pret-a-manger during December has a Christmas-themed filling. Meg runs through the various culinary options.
Fascinating Festive Fact #3 - Forty-three per cent of Swedish Christians do not believe in Hell. Cliff eavesdrops on a conversation in Hell.
Fascinating Festive Fact #2: One in twelve people have a birthday in December. Cliff is that one, and he shares what it's like.
Fascinating Festive Fact #1: 87% of children under 10 believe that mince pies contain real mince. Meg reveals the actual ingredients of your festive favourite.
We don't ask for much, really, we don't. All we want for Christmas is to be back in one piece (and other festive faves from the casualty version of this song)
We exclusively reveal the tracklist of Now That's What I Call Xmas.
The Polly and the Ivy: Some facts about parrots ar Christmas.
We all want some figgy pudding, we all want some figgy pudding. How to do the mealtime maths for a christmas feast.
King Kong Merrily on High: a rundown of the films you might expect to see on telly this festive season.
What was Shakin' Stevens thinking when he came up with his stage name?
The Christmas Dinner Song: Lots of things you need to know about Sprouts.
Pipes of Peace. Musings on the universal languages of football, music and war.
I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus (and other traumatic childhood incidents)
We Three Kings: an overheard conversation on Christmas Eve between the Innkeeper of the The Bethlehem Inn B&B and Spa and his wife.
Christmas time, Misteltoe and wine. Some things go together - poison and alcohol are not among them.
Reindeer vs. Christmas: proceedings from the official court transcript
Santa Claus is Coming to Town. One of the banes of the modern workplace is the traditional Secret Santa phenomenon. For those who remain blessedly unfamiliar with this particular custom, let us explain.
The twelve days of christmas. Presents? You're stuck for presents, you say? We've got crap.
Cliff grapples with the political correctness of Christmas. Er, the holidays. Er, the season. Um, late December.
That fuckawful cavalry song, dealt with in horrible detail.
Need the perfect card for a difficult family relationship? Tis has the answers.
Dealing with S.A.D and Christmas jollity in the bleak midwinter.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree.....There's been some heated debate in these parts recently about Christmas trees and, more specifically, the erection and adornment thereof. We tackle the spiky issues.
Santa, Baby: revealing new research on the song that put the XXX into Xmas.
Nobody knows who the first Noel was, though history has been kinder to those who came after him.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Or at least sang Bing Crosby in 1951, possibly after noticing that Tesco had just started putting up its decorations for Christmas 2005.
Time There isn't enough of it during the week before Christmas. Sorry. Have a good one. love and kisses Meg & Anna xxxx...
If you do know it's Christmas, or have a vague inkling that it might be coming up, here are a few things that will bring it home, right to your table - given to you on a plate, in fact. Or a glass.
On a cold evening in December, there's an unexpected knock at the door. Who could it be? Is it a lost traveller? A friend? A postman, late? None of the above. Here are some secrets of how to spot carollers.
Choose your own Christmas Adventure
A Collection of People Who May or May Not Have Anything to Do With the Festive Period
What the hell is Christmas cheer? And why have we got to have it or else be called names?
People the world over are obsessed with the size and extent of their neighbours' light displays. They don't do this because they are naturally jealous, though - they do this because they are forced into it.
What is your Christmas style? Are you a commercialised sucker, or a scrooge? Take the 'Tis Quiz and find out.
Christmas carols are totally familiar. Everyone knows them, right? Notsomuch.
There's nothing like a hand-drawn Christmas card. It shows that you're really thinking about someone. That not only are you sending them a winter-time greeting, but my God, you mean it too.
We know where your Christmas presents might be hidden. We might tell you, too, if you're nice.
How much do you really know about the story of Christmas? Take the 'Tis the Season Nativity Quiz and find out whether you're a wise (wo)man or a stupid donkey.
Christmas shopping is not fun. It is not supposed to be fun. It is just supposed to happen. And there's nothing you can do about it. We tell it like it is.
Twenty one handy cut-out-and-keep* facts to help you survive the office party (* this site accepts no responsibility for scissor damage caused to your monitor)
We wax lyrical about Christmas pudding - the peerless festive dessert.
Meg and Anna spread Christmas joy through the medium of song. You'll wish your computer didn't have a sound card.
He: Listen. Parents tell their children that this man will give them presents, dependent on their good behaviour. The children write a list of all the things they want for Christmas, and, after Father Christmas has - by tradition -flown down the flue, they duly find all the goods they remember ordering all present and correct on Christmas morning.
She: Why would any parent tell their child that their gifts came from some unmet third party that seemed to demand an undue moral hold over their childhood and yet slavishly produced every item the child requested?
He: I give in! It's a lie. Here you go - there IS NO FATHER CHRISTMAS. Alright?
This year, show your loved ones precisely how much you care by sending them a special 'Tis the Season e-card.
Save yourself the bother of bragging to friends and family about your dull life this year, and whip up a swift facsimile using our special DIY 'Round Robin' Christmas Circular Letter generator. You'll thank us, but your mailing list won't.
Confused by this morning’s doormat? Terrified as to just what that strange brightly coloured cardboard arrival might signify? Fear no longer.
You HAVE to use wrapping paper. You can't not use wrapping paper. Not using wrapping paper is a deeply frowned upon activity. Giving a gift without wrapping paper would be like handing over a floppy piece or ham and lettuce and saying 'here's your sandwich, enjoy'.
The point of an advent calendar, in case it isn't already obvious, is to open one door at a time until Christmas. Traditions vary - some have twenty-four doors, some have twenty-five, but each has a little reward behind it.
'Twas the season the night before Christmas (with apologies to
Clement Clarke Moore (or Henry Livingstone, or whoever. Just apologies to everyone, OK?)
When do get to open my presents? Now? Can I open one now? Can I? Please? Please?
I don't want to put on weight over the Christmas festivities. What food and beverages should I avoid?
In Britain, we have Boxing Day straight after Christmas. Why?
Stockings. What's the deal with them, then? Why do I always get a satsuma? I hate satsumas. Does Santa hate me?
What is the acceptable answer to the question "what would you like for christmas?", when that question is asked by someone in a position and prepared to buy you gifts, rather than, say, a market research interviewer, or Santa? Is it greedy to say a digital camera?
My girlfriend and I are saving up for a deposit on a flat. To save money, this year we've pledged to give each other only token presents. Does she actually mean it, or am I going to look like a completely thoughtless cheapskate bastard on Christmas morning?
I don't go to church, but I love singing carols. If I go to a carol service, is it appropriate for me to hop in on the descant, even though I'm clearly an aetheist standing in the back pew?
What are the odds on a white christmas? Why does it matter so damned much, anyway?
I'm single and looking for love. If I tape mistletoe to my face, am I sending out the wrong signals?
I can't say two words about Christmas to my British friends without them throwing in the word Pantomime. You British people are always banging on about pantomimes. What the hell is a pantomime?
Last year in the UK there was all sorts of hype about whether the Pop Stars: The Rivals boy band (One True Voice) or girl band (Girls Aloud) would get the coveted Christmas number one spot. This year, the media is going crazy fretting over whether it'll be the winner of ITV's Pop Idol or BBC's Fame Academy. Did I miss something? Are they the only choices? Has every other artist decided not to bother releasing a single this year? Even Cliff Richard?
Putting small coins in Chrismas pudding. Quaint tradition or a really stupid idea?
I'm sick of being exploited by leech-like corporations intent on sucking my bank balance dry just so their MD can buy another private Caribbean island next year. Is it miserly to wait to buy presents until the January sales? Will my wife and children understand?
Why do people insist on decorating their house windows with ridiculous,
tasteless flashing lights so that their house resembles a mini-disco?
Is it really necessary to give christmas cards to everyone on the planet? Some colleagues at work have been coming in with great armfuls of cards for every single person in the department. It's like being at school. Can I get away without participating in this farcical, wasteful tradition?
I'm sick of it being cold during the festive season. I'm sick of getting socks and gloves from elderly relatives. I'm sick of being so freezing. Why don't we move Christmas to, say, July, or (better) all bugger off to the antipodes for December, and give each other bikinis on the beach? Why is it so damned cold?
Why do we have to have turkey for Christmas? I hate turkey. Turkey sucks. Fucking Turkey. We Always have stinky turkey. Can’t we have something else? What is it with the big Turkey thing?
Last Christmas, I gave her my heart, but the very next day, she gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I'd like to give the bitch something cheaper. Suggestions?
My boyfriend's Jewish, yet everyone keeps asking what I'm getting him for Christmas and I don't know how to respond. I so sick of explaining theology to everyone - I thought people knew at the very least the basics of the main religions, especially the ones with festivals that involve food and presents. How should I respond?
I hate Christmas, and would happily chew both my legs off at the knees to get away from it. Where can I go? How can I do this without offending my nearest and dearest? What possible convincing reasons can I give for wanting to miss the festive season in the bosom of my loving family?
How on earth am I going to manage to do all my present shopping without wading through aisles and aisles of harassed parents and tantrumming toddlers? Is there some sort of stupidity field that descends and causes pedestrians to move in slow motion? Why can't shoppers walk properly during December? Plus, is it morally acceptable to cause bodily harm to fellow Christmas shoppers?
What's the best kind of tree to get, or is no tree acceptable in these enlightened times? Did Jesus actually say "Gee, you know what I'd love? If people all over the world celebrated my birthday every year by chopping down billions of trees. Yeah, that'd be awesome."
It can't still be Christmas, can it? My local supermarket has had festive food on offer since June, at least and the Christmas decorations on the high street have been up since March or so. Does Christmas get earlier every year, or is it my imagination?