Hello, and welcome to this special edition feature of our popular series The Beginner's Guide.
Here we will attempt to uncover some of the myths and mysteries surrounding that most popular of holidays, Christmas.
Where did it originate, what's it all about and why is it so damned expensive?
These questions and a few more will probably be answered, or at the very least alluded to, in our 10 mandatory information nuggets that one must memorize, or fear ridicule in the face of one's family.
So without further ado, put a log on the fire, close the curtains on that icy night, snuggle down with a warm mince pie and cocoa and read this little lot from the glow of the twinkling lights on the tree...
...ten things to know about Christmas,
1. Christmas was invented by Barry Christ in the small village of Bethlehem, to commemorate the birth of his son Jesus H. Barry was a much sought after carpenter and handyman, building kitchens for many of the local aristocracy. The birth was a much publicised event, and many of the areas top businessmen attended, much to Mrs Christ's dismay. The businessmen brought with them gifts of gold, incense and cough medicine. Jesus grew up to be a master carpenter in his own right, but it was his work as an activist that would gain him his place in history. You can read more about his adventures in the hit fictional novel, The Bible. Christmas, or Christ-mas has been a popular event ever since.
2. The iconic tree, used as the central piece to any Christmas celebration, is representative of the thousands of trees killed during the height of Jesus H Christ's career as a carpenter. Jesus hated trees. He actually hated wood altogether. He really wanted to be a plumber, but he couldn't get an apprenticeship.
3. It is a tradition that pop stars release songs in December, in the hope of bagging the Christmas number 1. The songs, usually sugar coated, saccharine, sentimental slabs of cheesy pap, often don't stay longer than the first week of January. Cliff Richard was famously banned from releasing any more Christmas singles because they were all shit. He holds the record at 425.
4. It is not considered officially Christmas until the Coca-Cola advert with the trucks is played on the TV for the first time.
5. The average household in the UK uses four times more electricity over the festive period than at any other time of the year. This is mainly due to the increased lighting, cooking, heating and new electrical appliances bought as presents for loved ones.
6. The buying of gifts at Christmas was invented by Hasbro, the famous toy manufacturer, in 1938. Sales of it's toys and games tripled in the first year and grew annually as the festival increased in popularity. Other manufactures soon joined the wagon train, and the commercial buy-fest that ensues every December was truly born. Over 86 billion pounds is spent by the average household every year on presents, increasing personal debts twelve fold annually. At this rate, economists say the average British citizen will owe 106,465 times more than they will ever earn in their working lifetime, just so little Annie can have a pony, and thus prove that you love her.
7. Every year a certain product is crowned the 'must have' gift of the season. The product usually sells out well before Christmas, and fights and riots will ensue in shops all over the globe, as fickle, greedy parents claw and rumble over the last remaining doll or gizmo on the shelf.
Toilet roll has never been that gift.
8. The traditional festive meal involves Turkey. It is often referred to as the King of roast dinners. Over 7 billion turkey's are killed each year in December, and turkey's are renowned for hating this time of year. On average, the typical family unit spends over eight hours cooking on Christmas day. The finished meal is eaten in less than fifteen minutes. Another tradition in the Christmas family home, is arguing over who washes up.
9. Santa Claus was originally designed to coerce children in to going to bed early on December 24th. Threatened with receiving no gifts on the 'big day', children were expected to fall soundly asleep before Santa visited. However, during a survey conducted in the early 1980's, investigators discovered that the kids were actually scared of the thought of some weird, fat man entering their room at night, and with that Santa was banned. He now lives with his wife and children in Bermuda, and he runs a small rum bar on the beach.
10. Fact-flood!! Every year we await snow on Christmas day, but it has actually never snowed on December 25th! More people celebrate Christmas now, than actually hold Christian beliefs in any form! Santa admitted to using U.P.S for his deliveries, not the traditional reindeer and sleigh! The Yule log has nothing to do with what happens in the toilet, the morning after Christmas Eve's session! It has been proven that Brussels sprouts are the invention of Satan, and they are only eaten at Christmas! Over 12 tonnes of chocolate will be eaten over the festive period by UK households! On leap years there is no pressing urgency to complete your Christmas shopping, as there is an extra day to get it done!
And there you go, I hope this has enlightened you a little as to why we do the crazy things we do, at this time of year. For a true reflection of what Christmas really means to the masses in today's society, please read this.
I wish you all a safe and warm, happy and fulfilling Christmas time.
Now, where's the sherry....