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There IS such a thing as too much festive poultry.

FIRST things first. Happy New Year everyone and I also hope you had a Christmas which could confidently be filed in the top drawer.

Round at our house a new family tradition was rubber-stamped.

It all started when I wasn't my usual sunny self on the morning of Christmas Eve (and I think we can all agree that if you can't be smiley on Christmas Eve, when the excitement of Santa Claus' imminent arrival is at its highest level, then when can you?).

Breakfast wasn't touched and then there I was, being the exact opposite of reasonable when it came to getting dressed. After selecting a trio of possible outfits which I felt best conveyed my festive spirit as the finish line of being outrageously good drew tantalisingly close, I suddenly decided none of the above were suitable. Just as Mum was about to take me aside for 'a little chat' - the terminology applied to getting a proper telling off when me and/or Big Bro Fred are pushing our luck - my Dad was quickly called into the room for a second opinion.

The detection of a spot or two on my tummy - and an absolute beauty of one on my upper hairline - quickly had the parentals engaged in what I like to call The Pox Debate.

Was this the start of the very scarysounding chicken pox - I won't even go into the visuals which were going through my diddy head - or were these just a few spots being displayed by a pre-schooler who had woken up in a bit of a fettle? This debate raged (and had a lot more contributors - not one of them with a medical background) over the next few hours as I became used to being studied under a metaphorical microscope every few minutes.

By bedtime it had been decided that it was not the Pox, and we could all revert to plan A - namely sorting Santa and Rudolph out with some nibbles and tipples and leaving out empty Christmas stockings with hearts full of hope that they'd be fit to burst but a few hours later.

What I didn't bank on was me having a skinful of spots which were fit to burst when I awoke on Christmas morning. Dad thought it would be hilarious to announce the overnight developments in the style of Michael Buble, singing: "It's beginning to look a lot like chicken pox!" to the rest of the household, while I wondered what the devil I might have in my wardrobe, which could be described as 'pox chic'.

Mum quickly had me labelled as 'SuperTed's best friend' - a referTed's best friend' - a referT -ence I still don't understand - while Big Bro Fred wondered whether there were any 'join the dot' possibilities on the table. There's the Christmas spirit wrapped up for you right there, folks.

As it turned out, my well-known determination (I beat IVF to the punch to get here in the first place) carried me through the day. Nothing was going to ruin the best Christmas ever, when we got Dad the best present he's had since I arrived - a puppy who we now know is called Piper, and as you can all see, is pretty amazing when it comes to cuteness.

Meanwhile as we sat down for a wonderful feast at Aunty Abi's new house, Cousin Mimi proudly told me that we had something in common. "I got chicken pox on Christmas Day too... it's the best time to get it." She's crackers.


The arrival of Piper the puppy was enough to keep my spotty spirits high during a <BChristmas Day which had chicken as well as turkey on the menu
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 3, 2015
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