Banks issue Christmas spending warning Banks issue Christmas spending warning

By our man in the mall,
Lester Haines
British Banks have issued a stern warning that the majority of UK families are risking a ruinous Christmas as a result of poor financial planning

"Many people are facing the prospect of a cheerless Christmas because they simply don’t have enough available credit to fund the traditional celebrations," explained Barclay Merchant, a fat bloke in an Armani suit who took time off from wrapping up an expensive black silk thong for his mistress. "People are financially stretched to breaking point at this time of year," he added as he slipped a greeting card into the gusset. "The knock-on effects of Easter, the summer holidays on the Costa del Sin and Halloween mean that plastic has taken a right pounding and there is nothing left in the kitty to fund the orgy of Christmas spending."

Tradition dictates that Christmas is a time of rejoicing and giving. While children are normally content with a small token gift—an iPod, Nike Trainers or a Harry Potter vibrating broom— many wives will not settle for anything less than a diamond encrusted Cartier watch or a deluxe 'Rabbit' with matching gold-plated anal beads.

As an expert in the etiquette of giving told utterpants: "It is accepted that any significant date must be celebrated according to the accepted custom: by the exchange of huge mountains of worthless gifts and the purchase of expensive consumer goods. A husband who simply presents his wife with a Garlic Press at Halloween, for example, or lavishes his children with nothing more than a Cadbury's Chocolate Santa on Christmas Day is flying in the face of thousands of years of tradition. Furthermore, he faces ridicule and social exclusion for his inability to properly provide for his family."

With Christmas fast approaching, the UK's major banks have some solid advice for those who simply cannot afford to meet the financial demands heaped upon them: "The average family owes approximately £75,973.56 on credit cards," said a spokestypeperson for a consortium of High Street lenders. "That's absolutely nothing compared to their mortgage, so we suggest that applying for two or three extra cards will see them nicely through Christmas and may even leave a bit of cash over for two weeks skiing in Gstaad and St. Sappho of Lesbos Day on 29th February."

When we expressed surprise at the concept of St Sappho's Day, the banks' emissary dropped his calculator with a strangled gasp: "Where have you been? St Saph's — as it's widely known in the retail trade — was resurrected to plug the consumer gap between Christmas and Easter. You will be buying the wife the St Saph's Day chocolates, flowers and sexy lingerie, won't you? And don't forget the kids — they'll be expecting a new bike each."

When we spoke to the Bank of England, voicing our concerns that excessive borrowing would lead to financial disaster for many, their leading analyst, sitting at the wheel of a BMW M5—a St Sappho's Day present to his 18-year-old Czech mistress—quickly allayed our fears: "Interest rates are at an all-time low, so it's an ideal time to borrow as much dosh as you can lay your hands on. Obviously, you don't want to try and borrow when the interest rates rise. That would be financial suicide, so it's best to spend what you haven't got while the going's good."

We politely declined his kind offer of a 29% APR, £15,000 limit platinum store card. "So," he chuckled gleefully, "you're pretty confident you'll have enough to see you through to Lesbian Young Mother's Day on 1st April? These feminist festivals don't come cheap, you know."

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Hungry for more Festive fun? read how a Mad German tried to ban Santa Claus
and why Santa is coming twice this year

More of Lester Haines' groundbreaking journalism can be found here

© 2004 Lester Haines. Picture and construction © utterpants.co.uk/ 211204 A051205

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