9 lies that American films tell us about Christmas
Ahhh, that romantic, snow-filled time where a festive spirit solves all your problems and makes even mean people really lovely
1. White Christmas
It rarely snows properly in Britain and if it does, it's definitely not the kind of glistening glory of American films. At best, it might be a bit icy but a slightly slippery patch of grass isn't exactly a White Christmas, is it?
2. You'll find the love of your life at Christmas
Yeah, right. You actually spend the whole time chatting to your gran about Christmasses past and watching Love Actually with your siblings, with absolutely zero chance of meeting someone new unless it's a second step-cousin third removed. And it's really, really best not to go there.
3. Your neighbourhood will be bathed in glorious lights
A bit of tinsel in the windowsill is about all we really manage...
4. Grumpy people will suddenly be filled with festive joy
Except that the misanthropic souls in your life will just get even more cynical at Christmas once confronted with carol singers at the front door, endless family gatherings and the dreaded Christmas shopping.
5. On Christmas morning you'll all be singing joyfully by the fire
Except that your dad's stressed about whether the turkey's been properly basted and the sound of your singing is drowned out by the roar of the hoover as your family prepares for the onslaught of uncles and aunts and cousins. Plus the fire is actually a radiator.
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6. Getting home for Christmas is easy
Christmas Eve is prime time for overcrowded, delayed trains packed with people and their bags of christmas presents, not to mention the traffic on every motorway across Britain. Yeah, thanks, Chris Rea.
7. You'll find yourself this Christmas
You weren't quite sure what path your life would take, and you were doubting yourself. But at Christmas you'll have an epiphany about your life goals, and what you really want. Right? Wrong. You'll be too busy eating roast potatoes and reading cracker jokes to sort your life out.
8. Shopping for your family and friends is a joyous experience
Except that you get heart palpitations when it takes you an hour to walk from one shop to another because of the crowd if amazingly slow walkers. And then when you've made it into the shop, nobody is smiling. Not even the kids. They're just trying to block out the horror by screaming.
9. Festive spirit can overcome all problems
Except that even with your heart filled with the joy of Christmas, your job is still a nightmare, the person you're dating has turned out to be deeply weird (not in a sweet way) and you're still rooting down the side of the sofa for pennies to pay your rent with.