Now, I love the festive season. I love going out and buying a Christmas tree and covering it with all our family’s beautiful decorations. I love planning the Christmas lunch: coming up with a theme ingredient [1], and collecting and trying out recipes. I love getting my Christmas Carol playlist together and singing out—from The Nutcracker to John Denver & the Muppets, the Love Actually soundtrack, and all four Glee Christmas albums [2]—anything Christmassy goes.

So when @pinknantucket called for CRANKVENT submissions I thought 'No way! How can I think of anything that annoys me about Christmas?' But, because I am nothing but a reliable sibling I have dredged through my psyche of Christmas past and found something truly outrageous and crank-worthy.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, organising the festive feast is my Christmas treat. I love buying food magazines (I consider them an ample reward for embarking on a supermarket trip with two children) and used to have an annual subscription to one particular magazine. The highlight? The Christmas and New Year edition of course!

One year, the magazine author’s reminisced about the joy and excitement of hanging their stocking on the end of the bed. 'Ah,' I thought happily, 'a fellow stocking lover—perfect'. Because that, too, is one of my Christmas highlights—first as a child, then as a parent: the perfect Christmas stocking.

But then, a few years later, when reading through another of the author’s December articles, I discovered a discrepancy that left me aghast. The article went something along these lines: 'When I was a child I couldn’t hold back my excitement as we hung our pillowcases up on the stairs.'

Pillowcases? WTF?

Now I espouse that, just like there are ‘dog’ or ‘cat’ people and toilet-seat-up or toilet-seat-down people, the people of this world can be classed into two present-receptacle categories:

Stockings or pillowcases [3].

You are one or the other. And you DO NOT JUST CHANGE ALLEGIANCE WILLY NILLY.

So what had happened here? These were the options that occurred to my shattered mind:

  1. At some point, the author's family changed from Christmas stocking people to pillowcase people.
  2. The magazine's publisher was forcing their employees to write down their own Christmas memories and then stealing them.
  3. These Christmas “memories” were entirely fabricated with the calculated aim of drawing poor, innocent, Christmas-loving people like me in to buying their magazine.

I viewed all these potential explanations as unacceptable. To me, it was deception at its worst. Needless to say I cancelled my subscription.


  1. This year is cherries—yay!
  2. And to all those Christmas music haters who’re gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate? I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, shake it off
  3. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against pillowcases. But, in the words of Austin Powers, they’re just not my bag, baby!