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Upon the Yule of this wavering Tide, esme, complaisant as she is, has returned briefly to lift the spirits of those who may be feeling low by posting certain and indeed specific words that most surely must fall into a letter embossed folder named ‘whifflery’ in the hope that when said readers leave they may be experiencing a mood one might describe as mabsoot. – nods, twirls in her rather fetching jimswinger, and adds a spot of palpebration at the end

Across the surface of your deliration strewed planet, some unusual customs are observed when celebrating the birth of greed swaddled in tinsel, which the rest of the universe (watching from a safe distance as ever) refer to as narrischkeit. Below, esme has recorded a smattering of them for your (very! thank you P&F) eyes.

On Ukrainian Christmas trees spiders and their webs are hankered for as there is a folk tale that tells of a poor family woke up on Christmas morning to find their once bare tree decorated with spider webs that shined silver and gold in the morning sun. – (presumably the flies that festooned them were wearing tinsel crowns an all)

During Christmas in Newfoundland people called Mummers dress up in crude disguises and go from house to house dancing and playing music while the hosts try to identify them (by the looks of the photograph of said ‘Mummers’ below (this season wearing the ‘leatherface’ collection by ‘House of Chainsaw Massacre’) they also traumatise children for life and cut off people’s heads to add to a collection they keep in the cellar)


In the principality of Catalonia, it has become customary to decorate the traditional nativity scene with an extra something, or rather someone. This extra character is known as El Caganer, also known as “the pooper.” The figures are typically ceramic and usually feature a shepherd with his pants down showing his bare arse as he poos all over your rug. This is true folks. Here’s a huge example in a shopping outlet –

a huge man pooing
“Rub the giant poo for good luck little Joey!”

In recent years more contemporary figures have begun to emerge mind you –


Ladies and gentlemen I give you . . . The Queen having a big shite.


Lady Ga-ga in a still from one her recent performances on tour.


C-3-POO -0 esme clashes a cymbal and bows (the nut . . . hahahahahaha)

(Wiki link for those brave enough to see the real deal – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:El_caganer_-_Pessebre_vivent_de_Llers.jpg)

Another from Catalonia, and one also connected to poo. (I’m beginning to think they may have British connections) – The bizarre of caga tió or ‘defecating log’.

Locals in Catalonia create a character out of a log, drawing a face on it and give it a hat. Then they spend a fortnight ‘feeding’ it fruit, nuts and sweets. On Christmas Eve, the entire family beats the log with sticks and sings traditional songs until the log excretes all its treats. It’s hard to comprehend why this tradition hasn’t caught on elsewhere. (I say that, but actually know a good few males who are wont to beat their logs all year round, let alone at Christmas.)


During the Christmas of 2010, the Colombian government covered jungle trees with lights. When FARC guerrillas walked by, the trees lit up and banners asking them to lay down their arms became visible. 331 guerrillas re-entered society and the campaign won an award for strategic marketing excellence.- (A rare example of humans using their grey matter and fighting hate with fairy lights – esme is wearing a tutu made entirely of fairy-lights – (sorry, tis too blinding to see between the gaps Swarn and Prof Taboo – *falls about sparkling and cackling (no crackling- vegan Cloud))

(Technically the New Year this, but I’m taking liberties as ever.) Spain – As midnight nears on Nochevieja, or “old night,” the last day of the year, the entire country gathers in front of television screens or in town squares, clutching a small bowl of green grapes and wearing nothing but red underwear. They wait for the Clock to begin to strike and at every gong must pop a grape in their mouths. There is little time to chew and swallow, it is called ‘las doce uvas de la suerte’ (“the 12 lucky grapes”). (Not so lucky if you choke to death though eh? (Esme is considering holding a similar soiree but using bananas instead)) If you eat all 12 by the end of the final bell’s toll — and that doesn’t mean finishing with a half-chewed mouthful — then you will have good luck in el año nuevo (the new year).


All strange (and possibly true).

Onto the festivities:

There are mince pies and piping hot chestnuts on gold platters set upon the chayzee long in the parlour, and kisses will be doled out under the giant mistletoe in the hallway – one per face, no tongues – (bearded faces get a bum squeeze too – male/female/aliens alike) – hears much in the way of dissent from certain quarters – Hey, I don’t make the rules here folks.

Felicitations abound towards you and your beloveds from esme, who hopes you will join her in raising a glass (containing whichever liquid you may fancy – ale/spirits/wine/water/urine (come on, some of you are pretty freaky it really isn’t that unlikely) and display, as she does, excessive gelasins!