On this day, 2003 years ago, a tired family was turned away from a Bethlehem inn and forced to sleep in an animal shed, thus starting a tradition that 'Comfort Inns' continue to this day.
But all these years later, Christmas Day can still be an arduous time, so The Friday Thing presents a guide to making sure your day goes without a hitch...
- Ensure that party hats from Christmas crackers are a good fit by developing elephantitis.
- Having your whining, locust-like relatives over for Christmas can feel like a thankless task. Redress the balance by organising party games that include Charades, Pass the Parcel, Find the Faulty Fairy Light, Grit the Drive and Build My Patio.
- Christmas is a time of peace and goodwill. Celebrate by spending the next week watching war films and playing bloodthirsty computer games.
- For some people, Christmas can be a time, not of joy, but of despair, depression and thoughts of suicide. Avoid these negative emotions by not watching The Poseidon Adventure for the 19th time.
- Many modern parents are worried about giving their children toys that reinforce negative, stereotypical gender roles. If you're concerned about this, get your children one of the following toys:
Childless Career Woman Barbie
Action New Man (pull a cord in his back and he will say
things like: 'We're out of nutmeg', 'Do you want to borrow my
mango and peach lip balm?' and 'Let's all have a good cry!')
SAS Tiny Tears (it never cries or shows weakness)
- Make Christmas more enjoyable by NOT telling any jokes that end with the punchline:
The national 'elf' service!
You ring the 'deer'-bell!
or 'Farty' Christmas!*
- Remember that pets aren't just for Christmas. A large, vicious dog will not only scare off carol singers, it will deter electricity salesmen, Jehovah's witnesses and people trying to sell you grossly overpriced cleaning products the whole year round!
- Avoid Daniella Westbrook-style damage to your septum by resisting the temptation to attach the small plastic moustaches from Christmas crackers to your nose.
- Make Christmas more enjoyable by forgetting that the Victorian soldier pictured with a Victorian lady on the lid of tins of Quality Street is probably heading for certain death in the Crimea.
- Saving pieces of left-over wrapping paper will enable you to have a box full of unusable pieces of left-over wrapping paper that you can throw out a year later.
- At Christmas, elderly relatives are prone to repeatedly pointing out that things were better in the past. Disabuse them of this notion by making them watch The Two Ronnies' 'Raiders of the Lost Auk' sketch.
- Children. If you seeing Mummy kissing Santa Claus, console yourself with the thought that once the divorce and custody proceedings are over, you'll be going to live at the North Pole in a toy factory full of elves.
*Although 'Q: How did Darth Vader know what Luke Skywalker was getting for Christmas? A: He felt his 'presents' remains acceptable.