Previously, I warned you against the man you should never date at Christmas: The Christmas Refusenik. Today, meet his bauble-loving evil twin.
It's July. You awake to a sound that seems at odds with the sunshine blazing through your window. Is that...? No. Hang on, it is. It's sleigh bells. You pad through to the lounge to find your other half very carefully adding the 1,000th bauble to a seven-foot Christmas tree. "This one is just to do us until we can get a real one in December," he'll say, licking mulled cider from his excited lips. Congratulations: you're boning Father Christmas's keenest son.
As the song goes, Christmas is "the most wonderful time of the year", but as far as you can see, 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. It's about disappointing Christmas bonuses, getting flashed by Stacey in Accounts (or sometimes, sadly, Keith in IT) at the office party, forcing down one more roast spud, arguing with your siblings about who mum likes the best and that's it. You spend most of December fending off mince pies and endlessly clicking through Amazon desperately trying to finish off your Christmas shopping, because town is like a deleted scene from Soylent Green.
Dating Mr Christmas, however, changes this for ever. Every stage of Christmas is an event in itself, a milestone to be marked, a perfect Instagram moment. Christmas doesn't just happen to him, it's a series of experiences he feels he has to have, otherwise he's failed. At first this 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.
Prepare for: outdoor ice skating, hog roasts, mulled everything, German markets, Pret Christmas sandwiches, "red cups, yaaaaaay!", antlers, Christmas jumpers, chestnuts, ersatz frost fairs, buying stocking fillers, advent calendars, Christmas movie channels, cookery programmes, trudging around Boots buying three for two "smellies" for his overbearing mother, designing your own baubles, endless carol services, midnight mass, a secondary tree in the garden, Christmas playlists starting in August, circling everything in the Radio Times, demanding only "Christmassy" TV or music or games or food or clothes or chat or books or magazines or sex. While you're kissing, look up - yes, that's mistletoe above the bed.
By 10 December - "How the HELL is it only the 10th?!" you will ask, wild-eyed - you're over it, under it and all around it. Christmas is inside you, the branches of its tree scratching against your vital organs. You can't move without knocking a ceramic Santa off a cramped surface and every time you flop onto the sofam you end up with holly stuck your unmentionables. Your senses are done in from 'Winter Spice' air fresheners and scented candles and room sprays and now he is trying to mull your corn flakes. As he takes yet another batch of mince pies out of the oven and hands you a spoon to stir his Christmas cake mix for 2017, he casually mentions he's thinking of changing his name by deed poll - what do you think of going out with Kris Kringle?
You could just go with it, you know. Share in his joy and see Christmas through his eyes - but those fairy lights are blinding. If Mr Christmas is taking it all a bit too far, you don't want spoil all his fun. Introduce other events that can help keep Christmas to its rightful time of the year. Embrace Halloween, Bonfire Night and Easter. Maybe try to build his excitement by suggesting you wait until 1 December before dragging the tree out of the loft. Alternatively, attempt aversion therapy: give him an unpleasant, toothy serving of fellatio while wearing a Santa hat. That should extinguish a few bulbs on his tree.
I have a new column in the wonderful GT magazine, detailing all the men you should never date, along with a page attempting to solve readers' life dilemmas (I know, I know). The first is available now. Head to GT's website to find out when the next issue is out. Warning: it's a gay lifestyle magazine, so if you're low on tolerance and big on getting your knickers in a twist over nothing, maybe it's best to swerve it.
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