On November the first Elizabeth’s boss told her she had to wear a Santa hat.
“But it’s only just been Halloween and Bonfire Night is in a few days, yes?” said Elizabeth who was Czechoslovakian, a student at Sussex University and at least ten times more intelligent than her boss, Graham.
“You want to sell coffee dressed as Guy Fawkes? Go ahead and hire a costume. Otherwise, wear the hat.”
“And we have all new Christmas cakes.”
“Like Christmas pudding? Mince pies?”
“No, we have ‘Gingerbread Georges’. They’re Christmasy. They’re also wearing Christmas hats.” He held up a packet of gingerbread men. They were indeed, wearing hats. Elizabeth winced.
“I have not heard of them before. Are they traditional?”
“They’re biscuits. Also, we have special Christmas cups for the coffee.”
“Do the cups have hats too?”
“They have Christmas messages.”
“Like ‘Peace’ or ‘Goodwill to all men’?”
“No. Look. This one says ‘Feel Christmasy on the inside’.”
“Ah. One of Jesus’ great teachings.”
“What’s Jesus got to do with it? Now look: Wear the hat. Use the Christmas cups. And sell the Christmas biscuits.” Graham held gave the bag of Gingerbread Georges to her and stalked off saying over his shoulder, “And remember to look happy about it. It’s Christmas!”
“It’s November.” muttered Elizabeth to herself before putting on as sarcastic a smile as she could muster.
She looked down at the Gingerbread Georges, with their Christmas hats skew-whiff. They smiled up at her, with eyes full of terror, through a cellophane prison.
“I know exactly how you feel,” she said. She put on the hat.