NEW guidelines have been issued to help sexually inappropriate relatives remain within the law this Christmas.
A pamphlet, called Seasonal Touches, will advise those aged under 65 not to fondle a breast or buttock for more than three seconds.
Relatives over 70 will have a touching allowance of up to four seconds, as long as they do so in a bewildered way and suggest they have confused their touchee with a dead spouse.
Mary Fisher, a family counsellor, said: “This system protects the libidinous at a time of the year when they are particularly vulnerable.
“Thanks to media influences, some family members can respond litigiously to semi-innocent patting.
“Many men look forward to standing too close to their sister in law’s bottom during the Boxing Day buffet, and this advice will ensure that it doesn’t cost them their house.”
Denys Finch-Hatton, 56, from Worthing, said: “I dread Christmas, because I have to hug my niece, a local newsreader. All the chaps in the office think she’s a stone cold fox, and I know that if I ever looked her in the eye I would probably fancy her.
“I sweat gratuitously when I sit next to her at dinner, which I’m too sick to eat. If I knew I wouldn’t go to prison for briefly touching her knee, I’d be a calmer man.”
His niece, Francesca Johnson added: “I don’t mind Uncle Denys’s ‘special hugs’, as long as he wears deodorant.
“It’s much worse when Mum invites the old man from next door who spends the day pointing at my chest and shouting ‘dance!’