Boy am I glad you don’t have lips or the ability to rant AWESOME I am. Kidding! It’s not like I ill-treat you or anything. I am a tender diarist. I mean the worst I ever do is tell you all of my problems. But anyway, girl, listen: CHRISTMAS.

The period between now and New Year’s Day is a constant stealth attack on your MOUTH. Family, friends, distant relatives’ cousins’ wives—they are all masters of the smooch-on-the-lips ambush.

But what you can you do? Short of head-butting your assailant, there’s really no exit strategy. You can only grin and bear it, wiping excess moisture away immediately and demonstratively, in the hope that your message is received. You can try turn the other cheek, but nothing stops a lip-smacker in full-frontal-assault mode. They simply follow your head as you bob and weave, and go in for the kiss with military precision and a St. Bernard’s load of saliva at the ready.

I don’t mind a prudent peck on the cheek. But when loose lips start quivering in my direction, my eyes close and my mind drifts off to that happy place where the only moisture caressing my parched gums is a Nutella gelato.

’Tis the season to be farty, fa la la la—has anyone seen my mascara? ♦