THE hound is not really a fan of Christmas. There is too much going on.

She doesn’t like the noise, the numbers of people, the constant moving around, the excitement and laughter, the music and singing, and generally the enforced jollity of the whole thing.

Carol singers scare her, the busy shops cause her stress and the occasional sight of a big fat man dressed all in red shouting loudly is too much for her to deal with.

She much prefers it when people just sit still and exude calm, allowing her to gently wallow in a supportive pack without too much activity and busyness.

In this she is quite mindful, eschewing the trapping of modern yuletide celebrations.

There is one exception. She loves wrapping paper.

On Christmas morning she stands around goggle-eyed as the teenagers who used to live in my house rent-free tear open lovingly wrapped presents and then throw the really quite expensive wrapping paper aside.

At this point the hound gets interested. She will jump and chase the wrapping paper ball and take it back to her bed when she proceeds to rip it to shreds, tearing it fibre from fibre until it is simply strewn around her like unloved confetti.

Then she is back up, waiting for the next paper morsel to come her way.

According to internet-based dog experts… This behaviour is because dogs have a natural instinct to shred and tear things apart.

The hound may be attracted – google continues – by the texture of the paper and the joyous sensation of tearing it apart, which reminds her of her ancestors ripping apart small defenceless creatures for lunch back in the day.

Although interesting, this puts a slight dampener on what I had seen up to now as quite cute, if messy.

I’d like to think her behaviour actually shows that she has real doubts about the commercialisation of the festivities; that she has concerns about the modern message Christmas sends these days of the power of consumption and the inherent inequality in our society. But perhaps I am just projecting.