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A little magic
Wish you all a Very Merry Christmas

December 24, 2002
The Iranian

Dear All,

Tis the season of peace on earth and good will to all men, unless you happen to live in Baghdad, in which case, it's hunting season.

Christmas was, of course, loads more fun when I was a kid. When I believed that Santa was real (but just didn't deliver to Iranian kids) and that Mary was a virgin. But now, it seems to have become a time when I live in fear of someone unexpectedly giving me a present so I have to trawl through irritable crowds to find something for them that doesn't look 5.99.

The high-light of this Christmas season so far for me has been watching a documentary about the three wise men, investigating who they actually were and where they came from. Turns out they were deeply spiritual men called 'majis' (where the word 'magic' comes from) from the north of Iran.

My ancestors were skilled astrologers hence the whole 'follow the guiding star' thing. Anyway, it made me chuckle. To all my friends who tease me about claiming that everything and everyone originated from Iran, I now have BBC documentation that the Three Kings actually did. So there.

I shall be spending this Christmas day with a proper Christian family, rather than the usual lapsed Muslims. I shall be with Richard and his mum and dad, sister, Boggle, Scrabble and, with any luck, a large bag of crack cocaine.

Boxing Day I will be doing the lapsed-Muslim thing with my fellow Wise Men and it'll be more traditional than Santa's own do.

Anyway, the purpose of this is to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and hope that the new year brings you everything you wished for this year but didn't get. This year has been rather challenging for me, to say the least. Thanks to those old friends and new who have brilliant with your generosity and support and have helped me out and cheered me up in ways you might not even be aware of.

Lots and lots of love and ho ho ho's




Shappi Khorsandi is a standup comedian in the UK. See Features

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