Any minute now, the gym offers will start to arrive

And that dirty word ‘detox’ will play about your lips like the tingle of aged Stilton or the rosy kiss of a Turkish delight

With the new year on its way, the onesie is a no-no, definitely something to be ditched along with the empties and the turkey carcass

With the new year on its way, the onesie is a no-no, definitely something to be ditched along with the empties and the turkey carcass

Fri, Dec 27, 2013, 01:00

Had your fill of figgy pudding yet? Wake up this morning lamenting the Liebfraumilch? Would you rather eat the One Direction calendar than put another turkey sandwich in your chops?

Maybe I’m being a little previous, as my granny would say. Maybe you are all rolling around in your onesies eating baked custard and watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and fantasising about having Niall Horan twist and shout on the end of your curling tongs. Maybe you’re embracing excess, relishing the curried eggs and cranberry muffins, and anticipating many more happy horizontal hours with your box set and pilfered selection box.

Well, don’t get too comfortable: any minute now the gym offers will start to flood the letter box and that dirty word “detox” will play about your lips like the tingle of aged Stilton or the rosy kiss of a Turkish delight.

It’s time to get up and bin the onesie! And if you’re over the age of 50 and wearing rabbit’s ears on top of your sleep suit, it’s more than time to get a proverbial grip.

(Oh, don’t feign fey ignorance: how could you fail to notice that the damn shops are full of adult-sized Babygros masquerading as pyjamas, some with rubber feet, many – too many – with hoods and ears? And if that wasn’t alarming enough, a significant proportion of these garments are assembled from Dalmatian- spotted velour. One collective fire alarm practice around the country’s suburbs this Christmas and it would look like there has been an outbreak of myxomatosis.)


Hugh Hefner
The bottom line is that bunny’s ears are rarely cute, unless you’re channelling Hugh Hefner or the ears are framing an actual, real-life bunny.

A floppy synthetic set, sewn on to misguided hooded pyjamas and presiding over a visage mottled with Christmas excess and yesterday’s mascara is really not pretty.

While we’re on the subject of seasonal headgear, I’d like to suggest to budget airline carriers that they stop encouraging, or compelling, members of their hardworking cabin crews to wear Santa hats and tinsel hair decorations while they are trying to herd pasty, lumpen, disgruntled late-night passengers, myself included, from one sweaty terminal to another in December.

“In the event of cabin pressure exploding into a thousand tiny migraines, an individual oxygen mask will materialise in front of your scowling face,” said the flaccid- hatted air steward (or words to that effect) to a congregation of angry, hot travellers as we jostled each other for elbow room on the last flight out of Stansted recently.

I felt sorry for the man: he looked like a tired and disappointed elf as he attempted to spread some seasonal cheer, welcoming returning emigres from London town and encouraging tourists to enjoy their holidays on our spongy island, while we edgy passengers tried to fit our tired legs, our Toblerones and our grannies’ sherry bottles into the dainty well of leg room.

The night before, I’d been at a carol service in London, separated from my companion, who had found a bar instead. I had stood next to a hearty man in a red-and-white-striped shirt who belted out all the figgy-pudding Christmas songs with great confidence and energy while, from a balcony above, fake snow rained down on our heads and burrowed into the folds of our pale skin.


Scattered crows
I was glad to be alone, a stranger in the crowd. I sang out loud, really loud, and the man beside me sang out loud, and maybe we were both in tune or maybe we were wailing like scattered crows, it didn’t matter a damn. Sitting like a squashed trifle on the plane on the way home, I was remembering the little nun who took us five-year-olds for choir all those years ago. We stood in a line and sang our Christmas hymns while she walked up and down, listening, her ear level with our small mouths.

Every now and then she would stop in front of a child and put her finger to her lips, an indication that the offending individual should stop singing and mime the words instead.

I was, of course, one of those children.

With the new year on its way, the onesie is a no-no, definitely something to be ditched along with the empties and the turkey carcass. But from now on I’m also binning the nun’s forbidding finger; I’m going to sing out loud every chance I get.

Now bring me some figgy pudding.

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