Happy feasting

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The Independent Online

Almost there! Peace on earth, you will have noticed, is difficult, but we can offer any amount of goodwill to almost anyone for the brief period of respite before the New Year sales. On second thoughts, and in equally seasonal mode, let us try to get by, for once, without any of the foregoing cynicism.

Almost there! Peace on earth, you will have noticed, is difficult, but we can offer any amount of goodwill to almost anyone for the brief period of respite before the New Year sales. On second thoughts, and in equally seasonal mode, let us try to get by, for once, without any of the foregoing cynicism.

Instead, we will merely note in passing that a traditional Christmas dinner contains enough calories to power a television set for eight hours. Rather, let us concentrate on the festival's more uplifting message of hope, new beginnings and the promise of reform and redemption.

Reception, though, remains fuzzy. In a poll carried out by an internet company, Jesus Christ was voted the 42nd most popular Christmas dinner guest, two places ahead of Terry Wogan and eight ahead of Geri Halliwell. Kylie Minogue was top of the guest list. Philosophers, philanthropists and saints did not feature unduly.

Clearly, then, the world has not changed that much since September. Some might recommend a period of quiet reflection after the crackers, with or without the eyes closed. We will content ourselves with wishing you a very happy feast, whatever you are celebrating.

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