Here’s what Christmas is supposed to be: One turkey and loads of crackers.
Sadly with Christmas TV , it’s usually the other way round.
It’s like panning for gold in a river running with raw sewage – for every gleaming treasure, we have to watch a torrent of crap rush by.
As for the future of television, the lesson to be carried into next year – and one which I became familiar with during my years as a presenter on The Word – is that the more human dignity can be stripped away, the higher the ratings will climb.
So there will be lots more reality TV and Jeremy Kyle on its way.
Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen. And do you know why? Because there was naff-all worth watching on the telly.
Oh, but what about the Christmas special? Only one of those words is accurate. And yet on Christmas night every year the TV bosses say, “Look at the ratings!”
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So how do we explain the high viewing figures on Christmas night – the quality of the programmes or the pubs being shut? Tough call!
As a kid, though, the most exciting part and the time I felt the true Christmas spirit was that 30-second period between grabbing my presents on Christmas morning when it was still dark – and ripping off enough paper to realise someone’s bought me the same cheap old tat again.
If you think I seem a bit Scrooge-like , you’re probably right.
The whole thing for me starts with Christmas cards . I didn’t send any this year.
I realised that all Christmas cards were really about was just checking that those relatives and friends you don’t see or speak to any more are still alive.
Having said that, I’m a man who prides himself on his laziness so even the idea of emailing cards was a step too far.
I know that a big thing now over the festive season is texting, swelling the coffers of the mobile phone companies.
What’s that all about, eh? All it does is clog up your inbox with loads of messages saying Merry Xmas and/or Happy New Year. An entirely pointless exercise.
Over the years my personal policy of sending Christmas cards has been to keep it to a minimum and nothing religious – a sort of backlash against all that Irish Catholicism I went through as a kid.
As for Christmas shopping, like most blokes I’ll be wandering around some shopping centre on Christmas Eve with all the other dead-eyed souls making last-minute panic buys.