If Herod had employed reliable labour all those years ago to find and kill the baby Jesus this would just be another cold weekend in December - instead here we are again, Christmas. The salt and the pepper say hello....
There are three stages to Christmas:
First there is the stress of the pre-Christmas rush when we all dash about like headless turkeys trying to snatch up bargains to give to our loved ones. We then battle through the aisles of our favourite supermarket trying to make sure we have plenty of sprouts to cook and then to throw away after nobody eats them. We then 'deck the halls' with bright coloured lights and find we have the stress of running to B&Q when we discover one of the bulbs has blown. There are parcels to wrap and post, there are cards to address, there are stamps to buy and then there are post boxes too full to take your cards leading to more stress!
But eventually it all comes to an end and the pre Christmas period is past and we have the day itself to experience...more stress.
Locked in a house all day with people you spend all year avoiding - being forced to share your television with people who only watch documentaries on coastal erosion or Eastenders. Trying to put on a brave face when you open the presents that leave you almost speechless with shock - "wow, a nutcracker shaped like Katie Price - thanks so much." Or perhaps you might get a cook book by Heston Blumenthal.
Trying to remember who likes breast, who likes stuffing, who likes extra gravy and then trying to find something for Aunty Mary who is on a three day diet of beetroot and runner beans.
Holding back from the urge to devour a whole bottle of Pinot in one big gulp just to get you through that long long evening - it is like an eternity only longer and you begin to feel like Nelson Mandela on Robben Island but he at least had a guard to talk to.
Eventually the day passes and you begin to think that the stress must now begin to lift, just a little. Wrong.
Now you have the stress of joining the queues in the sales to exchange the Katy Price nutcracker for something you really want, something with a little class like a Katherine Jenkins nutcracker.
Then you have to make sure you de-christmas by twelfth night or bad luck may follow throughout the year...I say leave the decorations up, what's the worst that could happen? You just survived Christmas!
The stress of the festive season hits us each and every year and still we have not learned our lesson - and I think the time is coming when we should reflect on the true meaning of christmas and try and model our celebrations around that simple message surrounding the birth of a little baby in a stable.
We should forget the rushing around and the over eating and the terrible presents and we should all go to a stable and wait for the miracle to happen. In the present cold snap it might be an ideal place for the elderly, they could all huddle around a pile of steaming manure and keep the cold at bay by sleeping under a cow, her udders warm with milk - a cosy bed and a midnight snack all in one.
Yes, we should all find a stable and if you don't know where your local stable is, just follow the bright light in the sky - it's not a star it's the Police helicopter but it passes by the stable occasionally so you'll be OK.
If it's too foggy to see the searchlight from the chopper then follow the Shepherds, they live at No.42 and they always spend Christmas in a stable bare - yes, they are naturists but don't worry about the nudity because in the cold weather there is nothing to see, poor Mr Shepherd looks like he has a walnut whip instead of a penis.
If you don't know the Shepherds you could always follow the three wise men - but if you live in Mansfield don't hold out much hope of finding them anytime soon as they are out searching for a virgin and so far they have struck out.
Yes, Christmas would be so much more tolerable in a stable where the only cause for stress would be what can you do with all the myrrh? Oh wait - now where did I put that cook book by Heston Blumenthal?
Yes, I'm a miserable old sod, but it makes me happy - I just joined the board of BHS (Bah Humbug Society) and on a serious note this christmas will be a sadder day than usual as Mrs B and I will be thinking of Jake and Danny and missing them a lot.
Anyone who has had a bereavement this year will no doubt find the gloss of christmas somewhat diminished and my heart goes out to you all.
The biggest cause of stress this year was what to get Mrs B for Christmas - she doesn't need any more diamonds and she has no room left for handbags and she doesn't want a 42'' plasma screen - bugger.
What she asked for was impossible to get - Take That tickets...there was actually more chance of Jesus knocking on the door and inviting us to have lunch with God. Securing one of the golden tickets was as likely as the news headlines on Christmas Day starting with 'Pope caught tasting flavoured condoms'. Brings new meaning to the hymn, O Cum All Ye Faithful.
In the place of Take That tickets I got Mrs B a new key for the front door. Not just any key mind you, one with her initial on. What more could a girl want?
Gary, Howard, Mark, Jason and Robbie came the loud reply.
But she has me - and in many ways I embody all that she likes about the ageing boy band.
I am a talented writer like Gary Barlow, I have a well muscled dancers physique similar to that of Howard Donald, I have the boyish charm of Mark Owen, I have the charisma of Robbie Williams and finally, like Jason Orange, I have a superb singing voice!
Perhaps I should just wrap a ribbon around myself and say to Mrs B on Christmas morning - Take That!
So there we have it, a little Christmas message of hope and joy radiating out to all who have taken the time during this busy period to pause and reflect...now open the sherry and get blotto and don't forget a turkey is not just for Christmas - it's for Boxing Day too with bubble and squeak.
I hope you all enjoy your time, with family, with friends, with whoever it is that brings you joy - by the time you read this I will have jetted off to sunnier climes and I will be relaxing in my thong...which reminds me, where did I put those sprouts?
Only joking, why sit in an airport for Christmas when you can sit at home, getting drunk and laughing at all the poor people who were dreaming of Disney and theme parks and the only carousel they will get to see is the one with their luggage on going round and round and round...
I shouldn't laugh really...but I will. A little present to myself, laughing at the unfortunate circumstances of others, what better present can their be?
Merry Christmas - Tesco own brand mince pie anyone?