Christmas has long been associated with time. Dickens' famous story "A Christmas Carol" features the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future.
One person who has ever less time is Santa. You're supposed to slow down in old age, but the poor bugger has to cope with an ever growing world population. Which means more children to get presents to by Chrismas Day.
And with the credit crunch he's being forced by the International Monetary Fund to lay off some of his elves, and put the work out to contractors instead. This is of course grossly inefficient, since most of the money he was paying his little helpers will now be going into shareholder's pockets.
Something's going to have to give.
Things were so much easier in the good old days before globalisation and Coca Cola. When he became an internationally recognised figure he persuaded the authorities to introduce time zones around the world. This innovation meant that Christmas morning happened 24 times, once an hour*, instead of just once a year. It gave him more time to get around the globe, and proved very popular with watch manufacturers.
* - This isn't strictly true, since some places, such as Afghanistan are half-an-hour ahead, but let's not get too technical.
But now there's a serious risk that some children will end up getting their presents late. Unless something is done. And I will now explain just what that something should be. (No, it doesn't involve Santa swapping his traditional bottle of Coke for a can of Red Bull).
I'd like to claim credit for the idea, but it was actually thought up thirty years ago by an American woman. Sadly, as she announced her brainwave to the world she made a serious slip of the tonuge and ended up appearing on those dreadful outtake programs.
I suggest you only watch the first minute or so of the above. The rest really isn't worth sitting through.
Anyway, that's the woman I'm talking about. One of the foremost visionary thinkers of our time. Unfortunately, she was blonde and had a Southern accent, so people assumed she was an airhead. What she actually meant to say was:
"They should have it every month."
In 1980 people might have thought she was a World Champion Airhead if she'd said that, but it turns out to be the solution to all Santa's problems. At least the problems that haven't already been cured by Viagra.
The idea is really just an extension of the time zones. Starting with GMT (obviously), the time zones are lumped into groups of two, and each time zone holds Christmas in a different month. So in the UK and Western Europe we'll still celebrate it in December, but in Chicago and Toronto the magical month will be April.
Australians will get July and August, and so they won't be able to make the rest of us feel jealous by opening their presents on beaches full of bikini-clad beauties.
Father Christmas will now have twelve months to deliver his goodies, which will mean an end to the seasonal imbalances in the Greenland economy, and employment all year round.
But what about the religious aspect? Well, no-one knows when Christ was born, and December was chosen because there was traditionally a big pagan piss-up around that time. Once all the pagans had been converted or burnt, the Christians could have moved it to any date. Only the monks had spent ages drawing up calendars on beautifully illuminated manuscripts, so they left it where it was.
Some people are so enamoured with the festival that they would like it to always be Christmas. Those individuals will now be able to become nomads who travel round the globe celebrating a perpetual Yuletide. For the rest of us, the Christmas season will actually get shorter.
Christmas carols, lights and shop displays will only be allowed in the month of Christmas, thus reversing the worrying trend of getting ever earlier each year. In addition, anyone wanting to avoid the whole thing will no longer need to go into space, but will simply be able to move a timezone or two away for a month. For example, Texans could go to Tegucigalpa, Brits to Greece, and so on.
I hope that Obama, Coca Cola and Wallmart will read the letters I'm going to send them explaining the benefits of the Year-Long-Yule and set the appropriate wheels in motion, but in the meantime I'd be happy to hear your views.