It's the time of year when everything you pick up - newspapers, magazines, cats - brings forth a slither of leaflets, producing something between the court scene in Alice Through The Looking Glass and a ticker tape parade.
Hmm...possibly not the cats...
Anyway, the fact is that those canny travel agents know that we've been cooped up with our nearest and dearest all Christmas and that we're desperate to get out and away. We'll go anywhere, literally anywhere, no matter how dull and uncomfortable it is, and no matter what the cost.
Yes, it's time to book our holidays.
And when we have booked them, what will happen? People will say:
'Are you going somewhere nice?'
And it's no good answering no, we though we'd go somewhere really horrible this year, because that just confuses people. You have to answer them as if they'd asked a sensible question.
The trouble is, appallingly, we can't help but suspect it is a sensible question.
Because, always, at the back of our minds, we're beset by the dreadful fear that despite the photographs, gush and price tag, it isn't going to be very nice at all.
Word To Use Today: holiday. This word comes from the Old English hāligdæg, holy day.