2 Even eating a Terry's Chocolate Orange in one go can't beat The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans (Simon & Schuster pounds 7.99) for sugar-overload. This tale of a poor family whose father is too wrapped up in his work to pay attention to his tiny daughter, and of the old woman who gently shows him what's important in life, sold by the sledge-load in the States, and even spawned a spoof riposte in this country, The Christmas Pox by Nick Leon (Pan pounds 4.99) with a promisingly decadent cover (above).
2 In Brian Rice's inventive A Pictorial History of Santa Claus (Chatto pounds 7.99), the bearded one strays into famous paintings with such tongue- in-cheek captions as: "A painting by Pieter Breughel the Elder shows an apparently unconcerned Santa delivering presents while the 'Massacre of the Innocents' takes place behind him."
2 Try James Finn Garner's Politically Correct Holiday Stories (Simon & Shuster pounds 6.99, below), which includes a cunning rework of A Christmas Carol: "Marley was as non-viable as a doornail. Unless you happen to be an animist." as well as such gems as: "Twas the night before Solstice and all through the co-op/Not a creature was messing the calm status quo up ..."Reuse content