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    christmas elfIt may only be November, but, people, it’s Christmas. TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY. Today in the Post Office an old man in the queue behind me commented to another queuer (while I held up the queue deciding which novelty Christmas stamps to buy) about how the supermarket had already put their Christmas lights on.

    “Halloween is dead. Christmas is alive. Deal with it.”

    ‘Oh, yes, doesn’t it get earlier every year?’ his recipient quipped back.

    No, it doesn’t. It starts about now, it’s awesome, it’s here. Halloween is dead. Christmas is alive. Deal with it. 

    I love Christmas. Every year I tell myself not to go big, not to spend a fortune on presents, not to get fat on mulled wine and chocolate breakfasts. Every year I fail miserably – or succeed joyously, depending on your disposition.

    Last year we hosted our first Christmas party, with the theme: Comedy Christmas Jumpers! We announced that there would be a prize for the best jumper. People came in all sorts of brilliant outfits. I, on the other hand, didn’t make much effort at all for my own party. I wore an owl print tea dress. I raced up to Asda on the morning of the party and bought a little Santa hat-headband, probably intended for a child:

    Christmas dress206_n


    Owls… Christmas… Picture of an owl at Christmas to prove my outfit was a legitimate entry into the competition:

    It was a tenuous link that weakened under scrutiny. But I just distracted the guests with lots of egg nog and hoped I’d get away with it.




    Yes, I can see why my guests suggested I hadn’t made much effort. But look at me now…


    Oh, Novelty Christmas Jumper, where were you eleven months ago? I could have nailed that competition!

    I found this jumper at while on my hunt for as many jumpers as I can lay my hands on this winter. Because, you see, I am absolutely freezing.

    This new house we’ve got has the insulation of a cheese grater. As I type, my toes are blue, my fingers are numb. I’ve got a hot water bottle behind my back, a blanket on my knees and a hat on. At my desk.

    It is no exaggeration to say that most days, it’s actually warmer outside than it is in the house. We open the kitchen door to let some heat in.

    Thanks to our first heating bill accidentally coming to £400, my dear husband has decided we’re not turning the heating on again ever.

    So this is it for me: hats on in offices, hugging chickens for body heat and jumping at the chance to add to my jumper collection.

    “Hugging chickens for body heat “

    I had thought I’d only wear this jumper as part of my layering up campaign. (It’s all about layers, living in the arctic.) But this is not just a novelty Christmas jumper. It’s made of mixed wool, it’s a bloody good fit and I dare say that I will be wearing it to all and any Christmas drinking events and general parties I’m invited to, until about March when the clocks go forward and feeling returns to my toes.

    I’m now an expert in where to and where not to buy jumpers. New Look: cheap jumpers, ill fitting, look like you’re smuggling hamsters on your hips. Gap: Price tag reflects a better fit. You buy cheap, you buy twice, my husband always says as I walk out of H&M laden with bags full of clothes that I know, and he knows, will go weird after one wash. I’d put this crimbo jumper at the Gap end of the market. It’s pricey, but it’s a good stitch and it’ll see you through many years of novelty Christmas jumper wearing.

    And oh look, it’s not just us mere mortals who sport novelty Christmas jumpers. Look at all these celebs I could have invited to my party last year:


    Courtesy of Woman’s Own Magazine this week.

    Even Matt Damon. Matt dreamy Damon. (Top Left. Skinhead. Fit.) Is that not all the convincing you need?


    It’s me. With some tinsel.


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