Sometimes the best Christmas dinner is sausage and mash | Rachel Cooke

  The Guardian 

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In the frantic pursuit of pleasure, it’s too easy to end up cross, drunk and dissatisfied. Go for something simple instead Waiting to leave the plane at the end of a recent flight, I listened as a steward carefully explained the British idea of Christmas to an American business class passenger. “If we’re honest, it’s just about eating and drinking,” she began. The passenger smiled and, encouraged, she went on: “It starts early. You’re on the sherry or the champagne by 11 o’clock, if not before. By three, everyone is drunk and tired, and that’s when the arguments reallybegin.” Playfully, she then punched the air, after which she set about adjusting her enormous bun – an activity seemingly designed to announce that her cultural mission was fully complete. Alas, I couldn’t help but notice that the passenger was no longer smiling. He looked like someone had nicked his Economist and replaced it with Heat. The plane doors finally opened. “Have a good one!” the steward called after him, as he

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