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Friday, December 17, 2004

The Top Ten Christmas Facts

Several bits and pieces about the holiday we all love a little too much.

* It is a well known fact that Germany's Prince Albert proliferated the use of Christmas trees across Europe, insisting that one was installed in Windsor Castle in his first year there. What is less known is that Albert also brought across a couple of other things along with his tree and his propensity to have his penis pierced - did you know he is also accountable for the popularisation of mince pies, mistletoe, as well as 'Nur Dummköpfe und Pferde Weihnachten'? Or as we know it 'The Only Fools And Horses Christmas Special'?

* Christmas is now wholly owned by Microsoft.

* Every year, it is traditional for the reigning British monarch to broadcast a jovial Christmas message to their subjugated masses while they are enjoying their customary luncheon of coal and jam. Our current sovereign Queen Elisabeth II has recorded forty-seven of these messages and, over the years, has accidentally said 'fuck' in them ninety-eight times. The current fastest time for the potty-mouthed princess was the 1976 broadcast which came in at 3.08 seconds when it started with "So, is this fucking thing on, then?" There then was a sigh, followed by "Fuck. I've fucking gone and done it a-fucking-gen, haven't I? Fuck."

* Santa's reindeer are not 'Dancer', 'Prancer', 'Vixen', 'Dixons', 'Comet', 'Woolies', 'WH Smith' and 'John Lewis'.

'Boxing Day' is so called as it is the day when you put all the cheap tat your extended family have gotten you back in their boxes, ready to take back to the store the following day.

* It is estimated that over the Christmas period, over 38,000 tonnes of glitter and tinsel are bought in the UK alone - although not all of that is used in the decoration of houses, offices and Christmas trees. An appropriately-named ballpark figure of 19,500 tonnes is estimated to be used by fat, single secretaries on a night out to decorate their expansive cleavage in an attempt to make themselves look 'fun', and possibly dazzle and blind and entrap any men-folk that wander into their own personal gravity.

* Before settling on the name of Tiny Tim for his character in 'A Christmas Carol', a few alternate names were considered by master of depressing literature Charles Dickens. These were 'Little Larry', 'Puny Pete' and 'Small Sam' - all now believed to be references to several of Dickens' male lovers that scorned the slack-arsed author over the previous years. In fact, the book almost never published after Dickens then sneeringly suggesting 'Miniature Manhood Manny', 'Lies There Like A Bloody Hay Bail Thomas' and' Comes Even Before I've Got My Top Hat Off Stephen' before the publishers threatened to break his wanking arm.

* Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a modern invention, and is actually based on Dame Judi Dench's antics with two coathangers after imbibing three bottles of sherry at the BBC Christmas party.

* According to the Bible, Christ's birth may actually be in March, and the festival was moved to December to fall on a Pagan festival already on that date. Further research also suggests that 'donkey' can be legitimately replaced by 'Ford Sierra' and 'stable' by 'Little Chef outside Worksop'.

* Christmas chart favourite 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' is a happy festive song about a child spying on his mother having a bit of a tonguing-and-a-tumble with a complete stranger, theorising how hilarious it would be if his father found out. For obvious reasons, the b-side of this record doesn't seem as popular, and 'I Told Father When He Came Back From The Pub, And Now Mommy And I Are Living In A Motel Room For Christmas With No Presents Where I'm Beaten Hourly For Being A Bloody Little Snitch' has never entered the charts in its own right.

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