Blunt Instrument - by John Birmingham

Naughty or nice ... could it really be that simple?

Santa, we don't want to wait and wait and wait for grandkids to arrive before we get to see you again.

If you don't believe in Santa, how can Santa believe in you? The big man gets lost in the annual culture war over Christmas. Maybe he's hiding, his jolly heart broken. It's odd, I know, to say he's missing when his merchandising imagery and pre-stocktake sale discount signage is everywhere. But Santa lives in our hearts first – his condo at the North Pole is just a residency requirement of the job – and our hearts are increasingly hostile places.

The charms of a lousy Christmas

Sometimes the most unremarkable Christmas Days are the most memorable.

There's something to be said for a really lousy Christmas. A nice Christmas with family and friends can be a joy and a treasured memory forever. But a really shitty December 25? That can have its own charms too.