'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house The children were shrieking, like they'd seen a mouse. The stockings weren't hung by the beds anymore; The children thought they looked better thrown on the floor.
Every vegan knows there's more to the holidays than mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and high-street light displays. From meat-free centrepieces to faux-leather handbags, vegans have the holly-est, jolly-est Christmas around!
So congrats to whoever it was who strung up the mistletoe, and well done TfL for ferrying everyone round more or less successfully for another year. But please, please, as a Christmas present, let the man on the Clapham Omnibus decide what constitutes 'good', and stop telling him what to think. That's if he can squeeze on to it, that is.
Of those who will speak to their neighbours over Christmas, 71 per cent said that they were likely to speak to neighbours who are of a different age. The figure stands at only 23 per cent for people who say they are likely to talk to neighbours from a different ethnic background to themselves.
Just as children hold on to the idea of reindeers, sleigh bells and Santa Claus at this time of year, there are certain Christmas myths about rescue life that pop up as regularly as re-runs of The Wizard of Oz. Here are the four we most frequently hear, in no particular order..
He knows that he has to be good. He knows that if he forces down the broccoli, the mysterious pensioner may well squeeze down our non-existent chimney on Christmas eve and deliver him a Leappad Ultra and a scooter.
This year, although I've just moved into a new house, I've found myself telling family and friends there's nothing I need for Christmas. Of course there are things I would like, a car, new shoes, jewellery etc. But there really is nothing I feel like I urgently need.
I've been trying to come up with a recipe that celebrates the good old sprout and uses up Christmas leftovers. Sprouts with bacon and cream is my favourite side dish (I think I prefer it to turkey... shhh) so what better than a carbonara to use up those green little gems.
Christmas is also the gifting season. In my family, we aren't obliged to give each other presents but if you want to give one then there is no expectation to receive anything in return. That was worked fine for us for years, especially when some of us were cashless. I'm fully aware it's not the same in every family.
Whilst for many, the thought of Christmas conjures up images of mince pies, mulled wine, sitting cosily around the fire, this isn't the case for everyone. There are numerous reasons that someone might not look forward to Christmas - mental health problems being one of them.
One of the main themes that I have heard time and time again is the importance of each resident experiencing the Christmas that they want, whether it's a morning tipple in bed or an afternoon of old Christmas films. I have worked in the sector for a number of years and am still struck by the variety of days that make up a care home Christmas.
By now, we all know that murder is wrong, theft is seriously frowned upon, cheating is repugnant, and that we should be kind to our parents. The old religious based 10 commandments are now firmly rooted in our minds, so it's about time we had some new ones relevant to the more secular society we have become.
According to an article I read today, the true way to enjoy Christmas is to lay off the booze completely. Able to hold a conversation with your granny, wrap the awkwardly-shaped toy for your nephew and get stuck into helping cook the dinner without feeling queasy, will heighten and enrich your Christmas experience.
You see Santa, I seem to have lost the ability to sleep soundly. One which I had spent years practicing. I used to be so good at it. Sleeping through the loudest of bangs whereas now? Now the slightest sniff out of place jolts me from my slumber.
Over the years I have learned to filter these lists to stop undesirable toys getting in through the door. This year I am thinking of operating a doorman style policy on Christmas presents. You know, if your name's not down, you're not coming in.
All this talk of factory farming may leave you seeking out a so-called 'higher-welfare' turkey, but no matter how they are reared, all farmed turkeys meet a terrifying and brutal end at the slaughterhouse.