Christmas (or Xmas) chat time

JILLIAN ALLISON-AITKEN
Last updated 08:33 18/12/2012

It's that time of the year when the ill-informed start rabbiting on about how evil we are to use the term Xmas instead of Christmas and poor old Santa gets to sweat his way through summer in his big red suit.

And yes, I'm OK dealing with the whole festive season now because it is the appropriate time to be dealing with it: December.

But back to the Xmas drama: saying Xmas has nothing at all to do with "taking the Christ out of Christmas" so if one more idiot bandies that line around in my presence I may well smack them over the head with my battery-operated singing Santa. The "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word that translates as "Christ", while the "mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.

Of course, for many, Christmas is also about imbibing in alcoholic beverages until brain cells are fried and if you remember the Reader's Digest "I am Joe's Body" book that told the story of Joe's various internal organs, weird appendages and the like, you'll appreciate the video offering: I'm Charles, Your Hangover.

Just make sure your brain isn't so fuzzy that you fall victim to the latest scams doing the rounds, especially the one where you get an email that includes your itinerary from JetStar or Qantas because that file attached to the email isn't your itinerary and instead of flying somewhere exciting you might find yourself grounded with a bung computer.

I've also had a couple of emails claiming to have attachments for online orders I've never made so I suppose even the wannabe scammers are getting into the festive season with their efforts.

It is better to err on the side of caution and to treat any unexpected email attachment with suspicion. Sometimes paranoia is a good thing.

On a brighter note, don't forget to get your order in for a phone call from Santa at the Santa Call website. Leave the details of the little person or people in your life at the site and Santa will give them a call to ask what they would like for Christmas. And unlike the online scammers with their dodgy invoices, the big guy won't rip you off.

The calls are free and available to everyone in New Zealand thanks to the good people at Cookie Time Christmas Cookies.

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