You know it is the festive season when...
1. Enough nights are spent out drinking and celebrating to start being endearingly nicknamed 'Vodka and Kirk' by fellow merry revellers.
2. The arguments, chez Kirk, increase at an exponential rate, regarding such things as bauble placement, who actually gives two hoots about the advent calendar, whether the person 'in charge' of decorating the tree is also given licence to select the tree in the first place, why people just aren't being goddamn festive, cheerful, or merry enough. The list goes on.
3. Tacky, kitsch, and overthetopness are good. Crucial even.
4. The most amount of money is needed, yet the least amount of money is available in my account.
5. Not only are people going out unattractively donning their skimpy finery, goosepimples and all, but they are doing it wearing Santa hats, red and green colour schemes, and liberal doses of glitter.
6. It is acceptable to listen to Wham. 'Last Christmas' is a classic.
7. Ditto Mariah Carey, with 'All I want for Christmas'
8. The idea of hot wine with things floating about in it is an appetising one.
9. Religious services, songs praising God and Jesus, and scenes depicting the birth of Christ are positively encouraged by the resolutely irreligious mother.
10. Overindulgence is suddenly alright. Nay, necessary.
11. 'The Snowman' can reduce one to tears.
12. The air smells of spices, chocolate, pine, and log fires.
13. Sentimentality is a must.
It's a wonder we survive it every year. And a wonder we want to do it again the following one. But, as every Kirk knows, you can never ever break traditions.