Tag Archives: Christmas

Happy Christmas To All

To all of you who come here, my worldwide readership (there are only about five of you, but you are spread all over the world), I’d just like to say thank you. I’ve loved returning to writing this year, and it’s the fact that you are all here, reading and making kind comments, that helps keep me going.

Happy Christmas to all of you. May it be all that you hope for.


Tin x

Love from the Tinfamily

Things Go Better

This advert is on a billboard near where we live:

The Original taste? I never knew that…


…. the Third Wise Man approached. “I bring you Coke,” he said.

The other two stared at him. “I thought you were bringing myrrh,” said the First Wise Man.

“Couldn’t get it,” said the Third Wise Man. “None of the shops had ever heard of it.”

Joseph took the bottle from him. “What are we supposed to do with it?” he asked.

“If he needs to be winded,” said the Third Wise Man, “give him some of this first. You have no idea how loudly it will make him burp.”


…. Mary put her hands over her ears. “Please make him stop,” she said.

The Little Drummer Boy sat on a stool, his drum in front of him. Arranged around it were two upturned earthenware pots, the cow’s milking-bucket and, serving as the world’s first cymbals, the hub-caps from a chariot parked ouside the inn.

The Little Drummer Boy had drunk fourteen Cokes, and was now enthusiastically beating out the drum solo from Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick.


…. Samson, stripped to the waist, pushed against the pillars, biceps bulging. After a while he stopped, and took a drink of Coke.

One of the onlooking Philistine women turned to another. “See you tomorrow?”

Her friend nodded. “Eleven Thirty,” she said.


— the shepherds were awe-struck.

A long convoy of ox-and-carts was snaking slowly along the winding road at the bottom of their hill, each cart laden with crates. A heavenly choir had begun to sing “holidays are comin'”, over and over again. An Angel of the Lord had appeared unto them.

“I bring glad tidings of great joy,” said the Angel, “and also this.”

He put a crate of Coke in front of them.

“This is great,” said the First Shepherd. “we’ll be rightly sloshed after drinking all that.”

“Oh, it’s not alcoholic,” said the Angel, and vanished.

The shepherds gazed at one another. The First Shepherd shrugged.

“We’ll use it to wash the sheep,” he said.


…. he spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then jumped back with a jerk,
for the bottle of Coke he had placed in each sock
had compelled them to crash to the ground like a rock.
The floor was all covered with glass and with bubbles
and the air smelled like diesel, to add to my troubles.
And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
“I’d clean it up quick, that stuff’s sticky as shite.”





One Day Late

In my defence, Boxing Day was traditionally the day in the UK when Christmas boxes and good wishes were given out, so I wasn’t doing anything wrong by not being here yesterday to wish you all Happy Christmas.

In my lack-of-defence I do not live in the UK.

The day just went. We had presents, we had dinner, we watched about 32 hours of films in 14 hours and suddenly the day was over.

So belated, apologetic, but really heartfelt best wishes to every single one of you who come here. You are my support and my encouragement.

You are my friends.

I hope you all had a really lovely day yesterday and that you enjoy today and the rest of the holidays.

I will be doing other writing over the coming days, especially since Tingirl has bought me this:

26.12.12 049

Have a super day, everyone, and talk to you all again soon.


This and Tat

It’s a new year, so I’ve decided to re-decorate my blog.

We’ve decided to do this at home this year too, but doing it here is simpler, can be changed easily if I don’t like it and won’t lead to the sort of swear-filled rows normally only heard when a couple try to put together a child’s snooker table on Christmas Eve.

A few days ago I showed a picture of the Bigfoot slippers that Tinson2 bought me for Christmas. It seems only fair (and helps to fill a post) to show you all my other presents. Tinson1 bought me this book:

the idea being that, if I like it, there are five more books in the series (actually, I’ve just re-read that sentence – there are, of course, five more books in the series whether I like it or not).  As it happens, Jmg recommended the series here when I was writing about books to buy for Tingirl and since Jmg has excellent taste (she reads this blog) I’m quite looking forward to it.

Tingirl bought me the last Harry Potter film, which I’ve never seen. I haven’t bothered putting in a photo, I’m sure you all know what Harry Potter looks like. She  also bought this blank notebook:

with (big “awwww!” moment coming up) this inscription inside:



And finally, there is Mrs Tin. She is married to a man who once dyed his hair blue for charity and once dyed it blond for a laugh so she is used to madcap ideas. Anyway, after mere months of persuasion she eventually gave me what I wanted (oh, behave) – this piece of paper:



and so yesterday (and please ignore the weird-looking freckle-thing and the total absence of muscles) I got this:



It’s the only tattoo I’ve ever had, but I got the idea sometime earlier this year and was surprised by how much I came to want it. Tinman is the other me and I wanted to acknowledge that.

And it will keep me blogging, possibly forever.

If I announced that I was stopping after getting that Mrs Tin would kill me.

Tis The Night Before..

… well, the morning before, anyway.

As a child born in mid-December it always irritated me when well-meaning but dim adults asking me what Santy was bringing me when I hadn’t even had my birthday presents yet.

What I thought whenever I was given one present to cover both involved words that a child my age really shouldn’t have known.

Anyway, with two November-born children as well as myself in the Tinhouse I have made it a rule (I wear the trousers in this house) that Christmas is not to be mentioned until after the three birthdays have past, and there are to be no decorations until after the final one, my own birthday on the 13th.

I came home from work on the 14th to find all of the decorations up. I suspect that they started when I went to bed the night before.

We have had a lovely, though fake, tree for many years. Tingirl’s wish for a real one was always satisfied by putting a tiny one, with its own little lights on the table outside her bedroom door. This year, however, she wanted a proper, full-sized real one and was backed in this by Tinson2. Mrs Tin stayed out of the discussion while Tinson1 and I firmly insisted on using the fake one.

So this is a photo of our real tree:

I wear the trousers in this house, but my family decide what colour they will be.

We also have a real, shop-bought crib

With a small statue of another God beside it to prove that a multi-denominational, or perhaps mixed-up, family we are.

But these are not important. A far better, and more loved, crib is this one:

And our favourite ornaments are these:

and this:

and our Christmas Tree fairy:

and finally this, which I love because I have no idea what it’s supposed to be:

We can’t remember which child made which decoration, but it doesn’t matter. They are part of each Christmas now, just as is the tradition that this evening we will all gather in Tingirl’s bedroom, that I will read “the Night Before Christmas” and that all of us will join in for the final “Happy Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night”.

And Happy Christmas to all of you. Thank you all for coming here and reading, and caring, and supporting. I think of you all as my friends and I wish all the best for the coming days to you all.


Tin x

Nothing Left, Right

Now that Christmas is over we are left with the perennial problem of what to do with the leftovers.

Back in the Middle Ages many of these problems were solved due to sieges. A ham dropped from the top of a castle could knock five or six invaders off a ladder into the moat below, while on the other side a flaming Christmas pudding fired out of a catapult over the ramparts could cause untold damage to those within the castle itself, especially if you were the one unlucky enough to be hit by the sprig of holly.

In these supposedly more enlightened times we are not allowed use food as weaponry, so we have to be a bit more inventive. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Turkey. Why did you buy one so big? Did you expect the Plymouth Argyle Football Team’s bus to break down outside your house, and that you’d have to feed them all? (Why Plymouth Argyle? Well, they’re reading out the football scores on the TV at the moment and I decided I’d put in whatever team was read out next). Anyway, the turkey is crouched there, still the size of Garfield, glaring scornfully at you. You could, of course, simply cut slices off and eat them cold, but remember that the most dreadful suffering known to man, that off trying to come off drugs or cigarettes, is referred to as “cold turkey”, and I can’t regard that as a ringing endorsement. Many and varied will be the recipes that you will employ over the coming days as you try to serve turkey in a variety of different guises. Turkey soup, turkey curry, turkey bolognese, turkey smoothies, turkey ice cream, turkey crispie cakes, turkey candy floss, it doesn’t matter what you try, your kids will know that it’s turkey and will beg to be fed something else.

My own suggestion is Turkey Wellington. Put on your boots, walk down to the beach and hurl the turkey as far out into the sea as you can.

Ham. Succulent and juicy on Christmas Day, it’s now as hard and joyless as Ryvita, and is the weight of a VW Beetle. Bring it to Oxygen next year to keep your tent from blowing away.

Gibblets. Seriously, what were you thinking? Stuff put into a plastic bag and stuck up a turkey’s bum. And you’re surprised that there’s some left over? Sneak them into a litter bin when you’re out at midnight putting your bottles into the bottle bank (We all go to the bottle bank at midnight, none of us want our neighbours to see that we’ve got through seventeen bottles of wine in four days).

I realise of course that many of you may have had a goose. If you did, well done, but we’re not here to talk about your love life.

The trimmings are simple enough. Cranberry sauce makes a very good wasp-trap in summer. That pink goo that goes on the top of prawn cocktail is a good replacement for L’Oreal moisturiser, if you’re suffering the January Blues and feel that you’re not actually worth it. Stuffing, once it’s gone hard, is useful for gritting your driveway. Brandy butter is an effective hair-gel, especially if you’re going for the Jedward look. Corn-on-the-cob, if planted in your back garden, will grow into a beanstalk with the Jolly Green Giant at the top.

And what of sprouts? You bought a string bag with two hundred of them in it, even though you knew that each member of your family would eat only one. Now you’ve to get rid of the rest, and they don’t have the kind of taste that is easily hidden. You could sneak one sliver into that foaming stuff that Dr Jekyll used to drink when he wanted to become Mr Hyde, and half-way through he’d stop and say “hang on, I think there’s sprouts in this”.

So you’ll have to employ some lateral thinking, and don’t use them as food at all. Next time you go paintballing slip one or two of them into your gun. Anyone you shoot is going to look like a green-blooded Vulcan. Squash one onto a footpath and when someone walks by howl in anguish and accuse them of treading on your frog. If you have very religious neighbours keeping bouncing some off their roof and tell them God is punishing us with a plague of snot. Stick one into the exhaust pipe of another neighbour and watch him shoot the head off his garden gnome when he starts his car. Send two of them to the FBI with a ransom note saying “we want two million or next time you get one of the Hulk’s fingers”.

See, there are lots of things you can do with sprouts. Just as long as you don’t have to eat them.

Twaz the Night After…

Good old Tinceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay all about
Deep and crisp and even
He swore words like “poot” and “darn” and
even “sticks of fiddle”
When he saw to his delight
Rain began to pi-hid-le.
He saw snowmen melt away
In the local par-ark
Like those Nazis melted
in “The Raiders of the Lost Ark”
He went out and brought some bread
Milk and and sparkling water
Till today the shops had seemed
As far away as Mor-hor-dor.
He went to his local pub
Once he’d stocked his larder
Cos he’s hadn’t been outside
So he needed lager.
Well, Guinness really, but that rhymes,
And that seems to matter
When you write a post that’s
in Iambic penta-ma-hat-er.
A game was on the TV set,
Tottenham versus Villa
Lots of chances, lots of goals,
Really was a thriller.
Spurs’goals came through Van Der Vaart
Godsend to a blogger
Coz the jokes are far too much
I just didn’t boh-hoh-ther.
Though it still may freeze again
And the ice might harden
I’m just thrilled that that I have seen
Green grass in my garden.
Every day is one day more
Closer to the summer.
Never will we moan again
If it’s fairly duh-hell-er.

Tis the Night…

Just a few hours left now.

I’ve learnt a lot this extraordinary, snowbound hell of a Christmas. I’ve learnt, for example, that it is possible to go Christmas shopping without a car. Yesterday Mrs Tin, Tinson1 and I headed off to Tesco armed with nothing more than a lot of Bag-for-Life bags and a grim determination, and arrived home with everything we need.

I’ve learnt that the backpack that I take to work every morning is the perfect size for fitting a turkey into. I’ve also learnt that a turkey in your backpack is a lot heavier that you’d expect.

I’ve learnt that a lot of the things we used to think we need we don’t actually need (sad story, here. Tingirl and I discussed how we could happily live  without sprouts, and I said ” and also those chip-shaped things on your plate that you think are going to be chips but disappointingly turn out to be some sort of parsnip yoke”, and Tingirl said “ugh, yes, I know exactly what you mean”, and Mrs Tin sadly said “well, this is all news to me”, so I hope she realises that everything else she cooks is gorgeous).

I’ve learnt that there’s a lot less pressure when the weather is shite, that you can just say to the kids “sorry, we didn’t get to buy so-and-so”. knowing that they’ll understand.

I’ve learnt just five minutes ago that no matter how great the boots you buy and no matter how careful you are it is still possible to land violently on your back when walking down a hill.

And I’ve been reminded that traditions built with your children will never die out, no matter how old they get. Tinson1 and I went to the pub this morning, as we have done every year since he was eight, to wrap presents from him to his mum and his younger brother and sister. We will leave out a can of Guinness, a mince pie and a carrot by the chimney tonight, though the kids know full well that it is me who has to get through them all. And we will all gather in Tingirl’s room just before they all go to bed, and I will read “The Night Before Christmas”, and we will all chant the last line “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night”, just as we have don every year since we became a family instead of just a couple.

For all those reasons, today is my Christmas. Tomorrow is just a day of eating and drinking, but today is a day in which I have built traditions and memories that I hope they will never forget.

And to you, all my dear blogging friends, I offer you this. I sometimes look up a website called amazingjokes.com, and occasionally they don’t tell a joke, they do stuff like reporting silliest answers ever given on an insurance form or something like that. Months ago they printed a list of answers given by small children when asked what love is. My very favourite was by a 4-year old girl called Tracy who said “love is what makes you smile when you’re tired” (and I’ve kept that in my head so many times over the last few months), but the reason I mention it now is because some 7-year old called Bobby (may he live in happiness forever), said:

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”

Have a lovely day tomorrow, all my friends.

Lots of love

Tin xx

Five Festive Foundlings

Every year, after the Christmas decorations are safely put up into the attic, we find some that we missed. This year so far we’ve found five. there are these three, found in a plant pot:

(Yes, Santa has gigantic red balls. No wonder he says “Ho, Ho, Ho.”)

Then there’s this one, on the door between the kitchen and sitting room (the most used door in the house, in other words):

And finally, and most embarrassingly, these:

That’s our kitchen. Just out of picture on the left there’s a TV on the wall. The table below the window is where Tinson1 plays World of Warcraft 27 hours a day, and where the rest of us eat our meals. Yet we didn’t notice those lights until yesterday.

At least we remembered to take down the tree… (er, I’ll be back in a sec, just want to check….)