Just a bit of running around to do today, distributing bags of presents, collecting a tax-efficient box of tobacco, and no doubt enjoying the odd mince pie on my travels. Then the decks are cleared for a right royal day of seasonal excess tomorrow.
Merry Christmas to all who visited my grumpy grotto in 2009, may your seasonal cheer be unfettered by the righteous, and may your celebratory cup runneth over throughout the holiday.
Considering last year's readership here could have comfortably fitted inside a VW Beetle, here is another airing of my letter to Santa on this day in 2008. He singularly disappointed last time out, so fingers crossed he bucks his ideas up tonight.
I'm turning in soon and will have my stocking at the end of the bed. I would have put it above the chimney but it could pose a fire risk which health & safety have told me is a no-no, I hope you understand.
It will mean that you have to climb the stairs to my bedroom. My partner is in the bed with me so I'd advise you to notify the police before your visit, in case an anonymous passer-by reports you as a sex pest.
It also means that you will have to deposit your kind gifts to the bedrooms of my two children. Obviously, this means that you will be left unattended with them, so could you please make sure that you have your enhanced CRB clearance with you before entry. If you do not yet have one, don't worry, it only takes about 3 months to come through once you have paid your £36 fee and filled in the necessary documentation.
The kids have both asked for Doctor Who stuff, but as you know, these are licenced products from the BBC so I hope you have their permission before your elves start running off thousands of Dalek voice-changing helmets. We are living in litigious times so it's best to make sure the paperwork is in order.
I understand that you may like to park your sleigh on the roof, but I'd advise against it as if you loosen a tile which falls off and hits someone, I will get sued and I will blame you to save my own finances. Best park it somewhere on the street but please remember that some areas are permit-holders only, so you could face a £50 fine if in the wrong bay (£30 if paid to the council within 14 days).
I have to remind you that the Government recently brought out rules on how to treat pets, so please make sure your reindeer don't appear distressed. The Government say that they won't levy a fine, but the RSPCA will use the guidelines to bring a prosecution against you. I wouldn't like you to go through that seeing as you are giving us loads of stuff for nothing. Just be careful, that's all.
I usually leave you some sherry and a couple of mince pies, but you seem to be a bit obese which we are told is very wrong, so it'll just be a couple of Ryvitas this year if that's OK. Oh yeah, and the sherry isn't happening either. Firstly, you're driving which means you will definitely kill someone and lose your job and vehicle according to the advert on the telly, and secondly, I'm sure other, less responsible, people will be leaving you all manner of alcoholic beverages which will put you over your limit of 21 units per week. I'll leave you a carrot smoothie instead.
Sorry, I digress. Once parked on the street, you can access the chimney by erecting your scaffolding to the side of the house. Sorry, you're not allowed to use a ladder to go above the first floor, health and safety has decreed it. It's scaffolding or you will be closed down. The scaffold and platforms will probably need to be inspected by a council employee so please make sure you give them a call first.
Having got the smallprint out of the way, here's what I want for Christmas, my porky friend.
Please, please, PLEASE can we have an end to this hysterical nannying nonsense next year?
On your way back to Lapland, could you please drop something big and heavy, and preferably explosive, on the Palace of Westminster? And if you do, I should be most grateful if you could shout "Ho, ho, bloody ho!" as you do it.
Have it large, all.