I have discovered a new role for myself over the last few years. I am the old lady who pops up at this time of year and says "gosh, did you know, the ancient Romans invented Christmas". I mean Saturnalia.
I have just done this again, to great amusement all round (me especially), at a gig at the Bloomsbury Theatre. Robin Ince and Tony Law had got a group of people together -- comics and others -- to celebrate an 'atheists'' (or at least 'non-Christian') Christmas, with historians; on Monday night, that was me and my mate Simon Goldhill (you see him above).
We were told thay we didn't need to pretend to be funny; that was someone else's job; we just had to go right on stage and do our stuff: nervous, moi? So I gave a spiel about what Romans did on Christmas Day (presents and getting pissed, basically + plus some drunken old men + Saturnalia curmudgeons like Pliny the Younger + Roman style office parties and silly hats). And Simon gave a prequel of his new book (which touches on those weird early 20th century types who invented Nine Lessons and Carols from Kings -- not going to say more, you'll read soon).
I guess we were funny enough.