As the song goes, Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year”, but for many of us, it belongs in the last couple of weeks of December and exists purely as an excuse to get drunk in a horrible jumper and open loads of presents that you’ll be queuing up with in Customer Services in a couple of days.
But what if you find yourself loved up with Santa’s missing elf? What if your other half is actually, underneath the reindeer horns and ugly Christmas ‘pullover’, Father Christmas’s keenest son?
Have you got yourself a Christmas fanatic? Here’s how to spot one:
1. They set their alarm to go off to the sound off sleigh bells. In July.
2. The Christmas playlist kickoff date gets earlier and earlier. Again, we’re up to July.
3. You walk in the lounge in September to find your other half very carefully adding the 1,000th bauble to a seven-foot artificial Christmas tree.
“This one is just to do us until we can get a real one in December,” he’ll say.
4. Your breakfast cup of tea tastes suspiciously mulled.
5. Every time you kiss them you get a whiff of mince pie.
6. They say ” Red cup season! Yaaaaaaay!” every time they come.
7. Winter bleach!
8. They spend two hours blogging about their favourite Christmas sandwich.
The Christmas sandwich – the hot ticket on the expressway to halitosis you’ve been waiting for all your life. Never mind that they smell like a school canteen and taste like the washing-up water from a care home on Christmas Day, no Xmas enthusiast would be without one.
Maybe make your own! Grab two slices of bread which have a moisture you’ve never quite felt before, some grey meat, a dressing of some description, and then something to ruin what would otherwise a kind of acceptable sandwich. Stuffing-flavoured cheese. Gooseberry marmalade. Raw cabbage. Serve in a box that will open up onto your lap, depositing half a tonne of mayonnaise over you, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now.
9. They make you go into town on the last Saturday before Christmas.
It’s like a deleted scene from War of the Worlds but your fanatic doesn’t care – get onto the spirit!
10. You find yourself identifying more and more with Ebenezer Scrooge.
11. They’ve Instagrammed every bauble on the Christmas tree.
12. They’ve got a serious ice skating addiction.
They’ll shove an ice rink anywhere now. Any remotely open space will, come November, have a an ice rink plonked in the middle of it and a stall selling mulled wine – Satan’s own urine – right next to it. The first few times they take you for a spin will seem romantic and exciting, before your brain slowly starts to dribble right out of your head. And when it does, it’s got tinsel running through it.
Eventually, you’ll become aware that, on returning home from work, your lover’s cheeks are rosier than usual. That’s right, he’s been taking to the blades in secret, without you. He’s cheating on you with frozen water.
13. Instead of Sunday lunches, they make a hog roast week after week.
14. You notice an awful lot of Boots’ “This gift is in the 3 for 2 promotion” stickers in the bin.
15. They’ve bought a brand new set of highlighters and two copies of the Radio Times.
One each for you to sit circling your favourite programmes – none of which you’ll watch because your lover will only ever have Christmas 24 movies on.
16. They hand you a spoon to stir their Christmas cake mix – it’s for 2019.
17. Even your socks are mulled.
18. You catch them hugging the Christmas tree.
19. “Might it be nice to get a secondary tree for the garden?” And maybe one for the bedroom?”
20. You can’t move without knocking a ceramic Santa off a cramped surface and every time you flop onto the sofa you end up with holly stuck to your unmentionables.
21. They casually mention they’re thinking of changing their name by deed poll – to Kris Kringle.
22. They ask you to wear a Santa hat during sex.
23. While you’re ‘getting down to it’, you look up – yes, that’s mistletoe above the bed.