Once a year is quite enough

'Daddy, why does this man on the radio want it to be Christmas every day? That would be really boring.'

It often takes a child’s pin-sharp logic to challenge hyperbole in all its forms and my eight-year-old completely nailed the many holes in Wizzard’s iconic festive lyrics.

While it was impossible not to agree with her substantive point, I did manage to bore her with a yarn pulled out of the career archive; one about an ‘interesting’ chap who was so wrapped up in Christmas that he really did celebrate it every day. Sprouts, crackers, Slade, cheese and biscuits and even the daft jumpers, before they became de rigueur (it was nearly 20 years ago) – this guy did the lot. Every day. The motivation behind this bizarre ritual? He really loved Christmas – it was as simple as that.

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My initial reaction to this story from the pen of a former colleague in the West Country two decades was ‘how can he afford Christmas every day?’. Unless you are a Premier League footballer, December 25 is the dearest day of them all.

According to The Centre of Retail Research and Voucher Codes, the average family spends £821.25 on Christmas. If that figure isn’t eye-watering enough, the cost is set to rise five per cent this year, thanks to inflation.

But unless you have barricaded yourself into the lounge in order to watch the entire Home Alone series on repeat, you will have noticed that the hike in prices really isn’t putting anybody off; we are still mad for Christmas.

It happens every year: the queues at supermarket tills this week will resemble those witnessed in the former Soviet Union following the fall of communism nearly three decades ago.

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We will inevitably fill our trollies with stuff we don’t really need and once our fridges are stuffed to breaking point, we will proceed to consume two months’ worth of calories in a couple of days before many of us splash out hundreds of pounds on gym membership, Lycra and flashy trainers in a bid to shift the excess weight, which will have cost us a small fortune to achieve.

I am just glad that it isn’t every day.

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