IT'S that time of year again.
When kids sit on creepy older blokes' knees and smile for the camera.
When it's acceptable to have a BAC higher than 0.110 before 10am.
When family gatherings start off all smiles and end in rifts and we drive ourselves deeper into debt to purchase the latest and greatest gifts and gadgets.
Ahhh, Christmas. Don't you just love it?
Sorry to play the prick to everyone's balloon, but Christmas is arguably the worst time of year.
Maybe not from a commercial sense.
Since when does showing someone you love them necessitate you spend hundreds of dollars on a) an Action Man toy b) a ridiculously overpriced homeware or c) an electronic good that will be outdated within four months?
Since when did it necessitate spending any money on someone for that matter?
Don't get me wrong, it's nice and all, but I feel Christmas sets us all up for a pretty slippery slope when we start associating love and affection with gifts.
Maybe it's just my wallet talking?
As a journalist and a Scrooge, I'm pretty fun to be around this time of year...(apparently I already cancelled Christmas when I declared I wouldn't be doing presents this year as my fiancee will be overseas anyway and the dog and I don't care much for gifts).
Maybe that'll all change next year when I have my offspring with me?
Although at six months old the best gift they'll receive would be another meal and they won't remember any presents so I may yet get away with another year of grinchness.
My ideal Christmas consists of indulging in a few too many ales on Christmas Eve with friends, followed by a hangover battle Christmas morning, before sliding into a few late-morning lagers to take the edge off.
By then you should either be straight enough, or still drunk enough, to get through any family/present-related ceremony, before everyone begins an enjoyable afternoon of way too much food, some more cold ones, and an 11-hour food coma-induced sleep.
Music is essential too.
Christmas carols are way, way off the table. As is anything too upbeat.
Nick Cave is a good way to start Christmas morning, followed by The National and then it's into the crooners.
Bob Dylan, Neil Young and a little Billy Bragg will get you through the day before the Christmas Classics.
How To Make Gravy by Paul Kelly and Fairytale of New York by The Pogues should be kept on repeat from about 6pm-2am.
Die Hard, Home Alone, Elf, Lethal Weapon and Jaws are all acceptable as Christmas films.
That's my guide to a grinchy Christmas. Hopefully it helps.
Seriously though, Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!