Written by Dotty Winters


Ding dong merrily on lies

Come on, parents: ramp up your Christmas lies a bit, says Dotty Winters.

mince spies

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

We’ve all heard of parents who convince their children that the International Space Station whizzing past on Christmas Eve is Santa’s sleigh or that the motion sensors for the alarm are Santa cameras. I applaud these efforts; nothing says Season of Goodwill better than some festive fibs. But if you want to snazz up your repertoire a bit, here are some additional Christmas lies to try out:

1. Mince Pies get their name because they are pastry-based surveillance devices. They see and hear everything and report it back to shadowy authority figures, Nanna and Santa. This lie has two main advantages:

• Learning that you are being watched for nefarious purposes every second of the day is a valuable life lesson. If we all learned this as children it would probably be less terrifying than the current system where we slowly come to accept this as grown-ups.

• Knowing that you are being watched at all times will decrease your appetite for mince pies.

2. Adverts on Facebook are auto-generated by Santa’s disapproval. Like all grown-ups, Santa has favourite children. Sure, he’ll get you the thing you ask for in your letter, but that doesn’t mean he’ll like it. Avoid sliding down the good-list by only asking for toys Santa will approve of.

Now nip onto Google and do a series of searches for: toy drum kits, that creepy doll that cries and anything that contains the words ‘goo’ or ‘slime’. Leave Facebook open on your laptop and warn your children not to look at it.

“Dec, from Ant and Dec’s full name is Dec-The-Halls. Ant doesn’t have his own Christmas carol and the bitterness is slowly destroying him.”

3. We all know that toys come to life when handled by elves; many people don’t realise that some choices of present pose significant risks [insert elf and safety joke here]. An average of 325 elves die each year in festive friendly fire incidents. Don’t ask for toy guns: guns don’t kill people* but unwise present selection can be fatal for elves.

4. Santa is getting on a bit. Christmas is a massive undertaking, and the incidence of clerical errors is on the rise. Avoid the risk of accidentally getting socks instead of toys by implementing a mandatory two-hour silence each day.

5. Dec, from Ant and Dec’s full name is Dec-The-Halls. Ant doesn’t have his own Christmas carol and the bitterness is slowly destroying him.

6. If you visit Santa in a department store there is only a 50/50 chance that it’s the real Santa; the rest are robotic automatons working on behalf of your headteacher and reporting back on whether you do your homework without whinging. The more expensive the department store, the higher the chance that it’s not the real Santa, because: capitalism.

7. Reindeer have developed worryingly high levels of antibiotic resistance and are extremely susceptible to human infections. Blow your nose properly, on a tissue not your sleeve, and throw it out, or reindeer WILL die.

8. In the 70s a number of elves went rogue. They’ve been living in the UK sewer system ever since. Some have grown to incredible sizes, and evolved an extra row of teeth. These ‘dark elves’ can crawl up through the toilet to feed on your pets. Keep the toilet seat down.

9. Sprouts are for grown-ups. You won’t like them and you are probably too babyish to eat them anyway. Keep away from the sprouts.

10. The correct lyrics to the song ARE: “Jingle Bells, Batman smells, jingle all the way. Uncle Billy lost his willy on the M6 motorway.” The alternative version that you are taught in school was hastily written following the granting of a joint superinjunction to DC Comics, The Highways Agency and Uncle Billy. If you believe in freedom of speech you should sing the original version, loud and proud. Also, if you look carefully on a starlit night, you can see the ghost of Billy’s Willy on the hard shoulder of the M6.

OK, that should do it. Jingle bells to you all and BEWARE THE FERAL DARK ELVES

*Guns definitely do kill people. Merry Christmas.


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Written by Dotty Winters

Nascent stand-up, fan of fancy words, purveyor of occasional wrongness, haphazard but enthusiastic parent, science-fan, apprentice-feminist.