Five tips on writing a round robin letter that triggers white-hot fury

SMUG middle-class families can’t ruin this Christmas by popping round, but they can still pen round-robin letters concealed in cards like the IEDs of humblebragging. Follow these tips: 

Write CVs for everyone

Reuben has grade six piano and is a year ahead at school, his sister is incredible with crayons, you were promoted and your partner stumbled across a bold new proof for Fermat’s Last Theorem. And you’re so f**king self-effacing about it, gosh, while enumerating each and every accolade.

Share the minutae

Once you shared a hall of residence with someone. 25 years later, you’re informing them you’ve gone vegan and it’s doing wonders for your wellbeing, sex life and bowels? They didn’t care when you said the exact same shit then. It pisses them right off now.

Share an incomprehensible anecdote

Begin a paragraph with ‘Of couse, you’ll be wondering what happened to Manny’s farm boat’, assuming everyone remembers the riveting saga from last year, then blether on with phrases like ‘historic scheduling fees’ ‘lost his lobster-potting licence’ ‘under maritime law’ and conclude ‘So in the end, we made £700,000.’

Put a positive spin on lockdown

Thousands of lives lost. Economy tanking. Millions facing unemployment, financial Armageddon and a mental health crisis. But sharing how lockdown was a special gift giving you time to discover the wonder of nature could inspire everyone to live a better life isn’t at all crass or self-absorbed.

Sign off with a reminder to ‘be kind’

In case the reader hasn’t got the message yet, you’re a saint. While everyone else muddles along you’re the hero of your own story, spreading light, healing the sick, conquering the moral high ground, leaving a persistent, gnawing sense of discontent in your old friend. Happy Christmas.

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How to bollocks up your Christmas shopping

READY to spend the last few days before Christmas in a blind panic for gifts and food, online or in real life? Here’s how to end up with none of the stuff you need.

Raid your supplies

Eat all the chocolates, mince pies and even essentials like the pigs-in-blankets. If you’re very weak-willed, roast your turkey while pissed one evening to make a delicious pile of sandwiches. Then have a coronary rushing round the shops to replace it all.

Be selfish

Is your girlfriend totally uninterested in computer games? Clearly you should buy her a Nintendo Switch. Also a great way of catching up on your viewing, eg Tenet on DVD for your mum who wanted the new Mary Poppins.

Leave it till the last millisecond

Everyone knows the Christmas consumer orgy gets more and more frenzied right up until the shops are locked on the 25th and the staff help themselves to whatever they want for free. Ignore this and be surprised when Christmas dinner is a pack of sliced ham, microwave chips and watery tinned carrots from Happy Shopper.

Planning is for twats

Buy randomly to get it all wrong, for example 20 boxes of biscuits but no gravy or potatoes. Don’t make lists, ensuring the uncle you never see gets an expensive scarf and gloves, while your own wife makes do with a white Toblerone.

Make regrettable impulse purchases 

Amazon or eBay, ideally. A light-up holly wreath, nylon Santa hats, a vastly overpriced bottle of port, or a digital camera for a mate who’d have been happy lager. If it’s expensive and adds nothing to your festive enjoyment, buy it now.

Lose all sense of proportion and get insanely stressed-out

If you are causing irreparable damage to your relationship with a blazing row about forgetting to buy brandy butter, you are bollocksing up your Christmas shopping superbly.