You wanted: A top-of the-range camera.
You’d have settled for: A bottom-of-the-range camera.
You got: Socks again.
You wanted: Your little girl to star as the Virgin Mary
You’d have settled for: Your little girl co-starring as The Angel Gabriel
You got: Your little girl playing the ninth sheep on the left, fluffing her lines by going ‘Quack Quack’ instead of ‘Baa’, and running offstage in tears.
You wanted: A pure white snowman in the garden beaming good cheer to all mankind.
Craig Brown writes about the presents we expect and the presents we in fact receive. (Stock image)
You’d have settled for: A slightly grey snowman in the garden, demonstrating that at least you made an effort.
You got: A carrot floating in a dirty puddle.
You wanted: Your office party to act as a wonderful bonding exercise for all the staff, renewing their sense of vision and passion for the year to come.
You’d have settled for: No major breakages.
You got: Felicity from Human Resources in tears in the toilet because Gary from Head Office has spent the entire evening chatting up Sue from Accounts, Martin from Product Development screaming at Andy from Innovation that he’s just spoken right out of turn and doesn’t know what the f*** he’s talking about, Jill the new PA putting it about that the CEO has been acting inappropriately and red wine stains all over that new carpet by the lifts.
You wanted: A beautifully wrapped Christmas present, festooned with ribbons and bows.
You’d have settled for: A Christmas present in last year’s heavily creased wrapping paper, haphazardly stuck together with brown tape.
You got: A damaged box of Ferrero Rocher at the bottom of a wrinkled Budgens carrier bag.
You wanted: To finish your Christmas meal feeling full of good cheer.
You’d have settled for: Finishing your Christmas meal feeling full.
You got: Indigestion, heartburn, a fuzzy head and a sudden, unexplained inability to help with the washing up.
Craig Brown writes: ‘You wanted: A relaxing game of Scrabble. You’d have settled for : A challenging game of Scrabble. You got : Locked into a 20-minute argument with your tricky brother-in-law’
You wanted: To set the party alight with amusing repartee.
You’d have settled for: Raising a slight smile with your story about the time you successfully returned an oversized cardigan to John Lewis three Christmases ago.
You got: Caught in a 20-minute discussion about whether you’re better off taking the M3 then branching right at junction 8 onto the A303 past Andover or the M4, turning left at Junction 15 onto the A346.
You wanted: A relaxing game of Scrabble.
You’d have settled for: A challenging game of Scrabble
You got: Locked into a 20-minute argument with your tricky brother-in-law about whether or not ZARF, which would score you 48 on the triple word score, is an acceptable word, and it all ends with your little nephew in tears and your sister storming out of the room saying she never wants to play Scrabble again, and anyway The Archers is about to start.
You wanted: Your neighbours to put a festive candle in their front window.
You’d have settled for: Your neighbours putting tasteful blue lights over the tree in their front garden.
You got: Your neighbours installing a life-size fully illuminated Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer complete with sleigh on their roof, a neon sign saying ‘Joyeux Noel’ all across their house, a flashing Santa gnome in every window, and a 10ft plastic snowman in their front garden.
You wanted: Florence Welch as Cinderella, Eddie Redmayne as Buttons, and Barry Humphries and Barry Cryer as the Ugly Sisters.
You’d have settled for: Katie Price as Cinderella, Eamonn Holmes as Buttons, and Cannon and Ball as the Ugly Sisters.
You got: Ann Widdecombe as Cinderella, Jacob Rees-Mogg as Buttons, and Norman Scott and Robert Kilroy-Silk as The Ugly Sisters.
You wanted: To make a good impression on your new husband’s family.
You’d have settled for: Being accepted by your new husband’s family.
You got: Your unreliable father broadcasting daily interviews to the Press about how you’re now too snooty to get in touch, and your crazy sister moping in her wheelchair outside the front gate and distributing leaflets telling the world how frightful you are.