I’ve never had much luck with the ladies. It’s impossible for me to say the right thing, because there’s a special “Wrong” filter in my brain. If I’m with a girl and I know that I only need to say the words “You’re beautiful” to have sex with her, by the time those words have passed through the filter they come out as “You’re beautiful. Maybe too beautiful. I might have to cut you up a bit.” Then if I don’t get my laugh exactly right afterwards I come off looking like a genuine psychopath.

It’s a special treat when I have a girlfriend at Christmas. There’s always that Winter doubt when you’ve got a lady in your sights and you’re not sure if you should wait until January to make a move, because you’ll have to buy her Christmas presents, but what’s a couple of quid in exchange for a non-lonely festive season?

The girl I was with last Christmas was great. Her name was Snow. She always had these great hats and scarves. If there was ever a girl built for winter it was her. My parents waited until they were 75 to have me, so they’re long gone. Snow invited me to spend Christmas with her family, even though we’d only been dating for five weeks and three days.

We got to their house on the morning of Christmas Eve. They lived in something bigger than a house, but smaller than a mansion in a tiny generic countryside village. Their snow covered driveway looked like a boring Christmas card, the perfect Christmas setting.

The day was spent putting up decorations. They leave it that late because it’s their tradition to wait until the whole family is together. On the surface it seemed pretty lazy, but I suspected there might be some kind of warm family spirit hidden away in there somewhere.

Throughout the day various members of Snow’s family introduced themselves. There must have been about twenty of us staying in the house. They were all really friendly, but there was one thing which stood out: every person I spoke to asked what Santa was getting me for Christmas. I assumed they were being jolly and patronising, but when I was putting up some mistletoe in the hallway I overheard Snow’s mother talking to herself in the study. “Oh, Santa, please don’t let me down again this year. I’ve been ever so good.”

Panic struck my heart as I came to a realisation. I crept into the living room where the tree had been completed over an hour ago. There was not a single present beneath it. I ran upstairs to Snow’s parents bedroom and tore the place apart. There were no presents in the cupboard nor under the bed. Something was very wrong.

I went back downstairs to confront Snow. “Lady” I cried “What did you get for Christmas last year?”

“Nothing.” She said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“I guess I was a bad girl.”

It became clear that I was trapped within a house of madness, a house where nobody had ever broken the news that Santa didn’t exist. None of them had bought any presents, because they were confident that come nightfall the man in red would fill their stockings with jewels and gadgets. They would be heartbroken.

At 8pm they all went to bed. “Early to bed, early to rise” said Snow’s father.

“We don’t want to catch Father Christmas in the act, do we?” Snow’s sister said to her son.

Laying in bed next to the girl whose family had been kind enough to invite me into their home on the most magical day of the year, I had a pain in my heart. I could not allow the events of tomorrow to occur. There would be a Christmas.

I got out of bed and dressed myself. As quiet as a mouse I tiptoed out of the house and into my car. Those kind people would have presents in their stockings if it was the last thing I ever did.

It was 9.30pm on Christmas Eve. The only shops still open were Petrol Stations and 24 Hour Jewish Sex Shops. It wasn’t ideal, but I managed to get something for everyone at the cost of £4,000. What’s four grand for Christmas in a loving home?

Morning came and I was awoken by screams. Snow’s mother came running into our room waving a dildo crying “He came. He finally came”. It was generally agreed by everyone in the household that it had been the greatest Christmas of all time. As I sat watching the children playing with their inflatable dolls and the men smelling their car air-fresheners, I felt at peace with myself. A night of roaring log fires passed and we all went to bed a little bit drunk.

The next morning the sunlit hit my eyes. In my drunken state I’d forgotten to close the curtains before bed. As my eyes shifted into focus I saw that the curtains had vanished. I rolled over to Snow to ask her where the curtains had gone, but she too was nowhere to be seen. She must have already been having breakfast.

I crept downstairs, careful not wake anyone, because it was still early. However, the sight that awaited me in the living room caused me to cry out in despair. Everything was gone, the decorations, the furniture, the potraits on the wall. A cold sensation ran down my spine. As I took a step backwards I could feel something wet under my foot: blood. It was flowing from my back. My kidney was gone.

The police arrived an hour later. “It’s not that uncommon.” The shortest one said “Gypsies. Every year some poor sod gets reeled in.” It seems that it’s been going on for centuries. They find an abandoned house, invite a lonely man over for Christmas and play the old “We still believe in Santa Claus” routine. He then rushes out in the night and spends his life savings on gifts. They all get merry and drunk on Christmas day, they wait for the guy to pass out, remove his kidney, clear the house, then sell all the gifts. They don’t even sell the kidney. It’s just a Christmas tradition.

Andrew, Leeds.

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