With phone jammed firmly to her ear, my wife is currently informing her twin sister she’s commenced shopping for Christmas gifts. By the sound of it my spouse has secured a few really good bargains to bequeath to our broods under the guise of St Nick. So if you’re reading this and you receive a festive present from Karen please be aware she won’t have spent much on you.

Prior to embarking on her retail therapy, my spouse questioned what she could buy me as a yuletide gift. After briefly mulling over her query,  I gave her the options of an Old Spice fragrance set, or happiness…… I anticipate I’ll smell of Old Spice eau de toilette at Christmas brunch.

I’m kidding of course, you can’t purchase happiness; comfort buying being the last bastion of the misguided slaves of capitalism……. That is unless you count the chicken tikka Balti with garlic at Akbars restaurant, or a Zam Zam’s kebab with onions and chilli sauce.

Now my kids have both flown the nest, I have no enthusiasm for the festive season. I’m utterly unfulfilled with it’s gratuitous commercialism, over-indulgence and cut-price Old Spice fragrance sets. For decades the meaning of Christmas becoming diluted by political correctness and where worship of a god with the prefix of ‘i’ now takes precedence for some.

I’m finding it hard to concentrate as penning this narrative. I have one eye (my stronger right) on the TV, watching England play in the Rugby League World Cup, while my lazy left eye guides me through the typing of this prose. Old left isn’t happy as he wants to watch the rugby as well, but I’ve a busy day ahead so need to multitask. Anyway, lefty doesn’t deserve to watch the rugby for his unwavering laziness.

Later today I have one or two admin tasks to perform following the recent unwanted changes in our family dynamic. These chores are nothing major….. Probably more lance-corporal. Some of them require a visit to a Leeds shopping centre, giving me an opportunity to buy my wife Karen a yuletide present.

I’ve no idea what I’m going to get her yet. Ordinarily I let her choose something she wants which I’ll then purchase at a later date; a far better strategy than choosing myself. After spending many years of picking unsuitable gifts for my spouse, I started a different approach to present selection a year or two back.

Now on Christmas morning Karen no longer unwraps a bottle of Ostrich eau de toilette or a recipe book for vegetarian cannibals. Instead the lucky County Durham lass gets a 100ml bottle of designer pepper spray, along with something practical like a testicle taser.

Despite my wife having the tools to pepper spray me and toast my bosker browns, at least now the missus doesn’t emit eau de toilette of a struthio. According to Wikipedia, a struthio is the genus of a common ostrich. It’s Australian cousin the emu is a strewthio-mate…….. If you’re still there after that gag, let me know how this narrative ends as I’m off. There’s no way I’m not prepared to risk being subject to another quip like that.

Turn the lights off as you leave!