Tuesday, 25 December 2012

How to be the perfect Christmas guest

 As you know, every Christmas I hold my Grand Christmas Party. I open my home to one and all – “mi casa es su casa”, as they say.

Putting on the year's most anticipated feast is a feat of superelephant endeavour.

The invitation even extends to the Badfort Crowd, as part of our annual Christmas truce.

There's a delicate art to being the perfect holiday guest.

However, judging from the day’s events, it is clear that some people need advice on the etiquette of being a Christmas houseguest.

1) Should you find yourself as a bona-fide houseguest for the day take a moment to revel in your good fortune. Your only job is to turn up and be fed. I always provide a veritable feast, unparalleled in the whole of Homeward. Unlike Mig, my cook, you don't have to be up at 5am peeling spuds. He is a veritable artiste in the renowned technique of roasting them with a blowtorch. Therefore, it would seem somewhat unkindly to moan about the fact you prefer them parboiled in Black Tom.

2) What to bring? If you insist on bringing food make sure that it is something that everyone might enjoy. A crate of oily Scob Fish is unlikely to enhance a culinary repast – especially if you insist on scoffing them all yourself as a between courses snack !

It is true that everyone enjoys Whooshmeat with apple and sage stuffing – but, if you insist on bringing it to my party, here's a handy tip: check the best-before date. That way, it avoids half my guests ending up in the infirmary on the big day.

3) Alcohol – A drop of port is always welcome at Christmas, but a barrel of Black Tom? If you insist on bringing such a lethal intoxicant have the good grace not to guzzle it down as if it were lemonade and insist on singing a chorus of “Uncle, the Fat Tyrant”

4) Warn your host well in advance (months, not minutes) of any genuine food allergies. For the record, an aversion to Brussels sprouts is not a medical condition. Don’t also then claim that “capitalist pachyderms” bring you out in rash whenever they “vainly boast about their pathetic achievements”.

5) You need to learn the huge importance of pacing. Have a bit of everything, but don't gorge yourself on the Stingo Steak. No one likes a guest who can't handle their pudding or has to loosen their sackcloth robe halfway through lunch. Also, while we are on the subject of said sackcloth garments – would it have been so difficult to wear clean ones? Don’t shovel your food. Don’t wipe your hands on other people. Have your share but not everyone else’s. Don’t make body noises e.g. belching. Try not to be "heads down" as if at the trough. No "taking" food off someone else's plate

6) Don’t cackle, screech and guffaw during my Christmas broadcast.

7) Don’t offer to do the washing up if Hitmouse is incapable of seeing grease and encrusted food on the back of plates. Also, don’t stick all my silverware in a large sack and claim that you need to take it home to give it a really good polish. Especially, if it is later discovered in the local pawnbroker and I have to pay out an exceedingly large amount of money to redeem it.

8) Having forked out for crackers at more than £20 a pop, I don’t take kindly to being peppered with ballistic plastic thingymajiggies fired from illicit catapults which, given Christmas Day is supposed to be a truce day, should have been handed in before you passed my threshold!

9) If offered leftovers to take home, accept them with grace – don’t say “Thanks, Lardy – we know you like to play the big philanthropist but it’s the least you owe us for turning up to another of your boring parties!”

I am sure that, unlike the Badfort Crowd, you need none of this advice.

Merry Christmas to you all!

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