Deborah Ross: The Not-OK! guide to getting the least out of Christmas

If you ask me: Recipes for Boxing Day... A glazed ham? That's just taking the piss, our survey says
Click to follow
The Independent Online

If you ask me, I am pleased to announce that Not-OK! – my magazine for depressive pessimists everywhere – has produced a special Christmas double issue, full of hints and tips to help you maintain your no-can-do, defeatist spirit throughout the holiday season.

Although my working day is often hampered by going back to bed and pulling the duvet over my head, which can happen seven mornings out of seven, I still believe I have put together an excellent issue, which this year even features several specially commissioned articles of the long form variety. For example, Martin Amis writes movingly about the shallot in a 7,000-word essay titled "They're Evil Little Bastards; Not Worth The Bother", while Monica Ali's "Cards: What A Racket" is a tour de force when it comes to cards being a racket, which they are, plus we also have Julian Barnes posing the question: "Bailey's. Just because it's Christmas, that makes it all right, does it?", and Doris Lessing on palming off old stuff you don't want as gifts. ("I am always palming off old stuff I don't want as gifts," she writes. "It is most satisfying and saves a visit to the dump.")

Of course, we have our usual step-by-step how-to guides, including how to put on weight by eating everything in sight (it's easy when you know how!) and how to pull a sickie on the day of the school fair even though you were so excited about running the plant stall ("I'd love to run the plant stall," you told the PTA) and how to disabuse your children ("Trust me, darling, Santa is not bringing you an iPad) and bring their expectations more in line ("But sewing cards are fun!"). There are the usual surveys – "Recipes for Boxing Day? A glazed ham? That's just taking the piss, our survey says" – and, as for shopping for something for your husband, 147 per cent of wives said it made them realise just how much they hated him.

Also, there are real life stories – "No Tree, No Paper-Chains, No Crackers, No Nothing" (one brave woman's true story) – plus an exclusive report on one mother's shock announcement. "You're too old for stockings," she tells kids, "and little pencils from Muji. Do you have any idea how this stuff adds up? Do you?"

I do hope you will give this issue a try – our "Five Foolproof Ways To Avoid The Whole Damned Thing" must make it worth the cover price alone – as well as our forthcoming New Year's issue, which will consider all your resolutions in turn, and then laugh in your face. Sorry, but it has to be done.