It came to pass that one cold midwinter night three smart suits did travel the world in search of new and lucrative business. And lo! A star rose in the west and guided them to a small shop where a man was selling furniture, and in the display window he had placed a large and comfy sofa. And the three suits did bow down and worship, for they had found what they were looking for.
So they went thenceforth and founded their church in a large glass-fronted edifice and they did name it Divine Family Sofas and did fill it with furniture. And they declared that at midwinter each year every household in the land should purchase a new sofa if they wished to stand high in the regard of their neighbours and their mother-in-law. And each year from September onwards they should spend each evening in the loving arms of their sofa and worship the Almighty Screen that did bring the Divine Message preached by suits all over the planet:
HURRY, HURRY, HURRY! BUY, BUY, BUY! GRAB IT NOW!
And verily this message did drive them out into the streets and into the Kingdom of Cyberspace to spend all their hard-earned cash on the overpriced tat that did appear to them on the Divine Screen, for they had been told they must do this by the time of the Festival of the Holy Sofa if they were to look well in the eyes of their loved ones. This was painful to the people and did fill them with exhaustion and stress so that by the time of the Festival they were driven to assuage their anxiety with an excessive consumption of alcohol and food.
And it came to pass that a holy man came among them and asked them ‘Why is it that you behave thus? This should be a time of great blessing, a time to rest from your labours and gather energy for the coming year, instead of which you are depleting yourselves with stress and overindulgence and beginning the New Year with almighty hangovers, raging indigestion and mounting debt!’ But the people heard him not.
And behold, the suits did descend from their ivory towers and cast the holy man into the wilderness where he couldn’t bother anyone. Then they went back home to count their money.
(NB – You don’t have to hurry, grab or buy any of the books on this page… but ‘The Slapstyx’ or ‘Gateway to Magic’ might make a good gift for a young reader!)