"Mmm," the jolly, fat, red-headed man nodded. "Needs some work, mind. Not everyone's cracked up for this 'Christmas cheer' malarkey, you know?"
A painfully thin man entered the kitchen; bringing with him an icy blast of winter air - much to the annoyance of the spotty, pallid-faced youth by the stove who felt compelled to say, "Oi! Watcher do that for? I'll catch me bleedin' death of cold, and you know how my sinuses flare up at extreme changes in temperature!"
"Oh, I'm dreadfully sorry, Mr P," the newcomer enthused, unwrapping from his great-coat to reveal an even thinner form beneath, "I'm starving - don't suppose there's any Figgy Pudding left and a spare Egg-nog?"
A polite cough from the first speaker, reminded the other three that Death was already present, and didn't like being alluded to being 'caught' anywhere, or by anyone, in his own home.
"Point," muttered Pestilence, picking the head of a scab, and forgetfully chewing it.
He never would apologise, that one, Death mused. The closest thing to a 'sorry' from him was the shortened muttered version of, "Whoops, I suppose you may have a point..." The youth of the underworld, these days...
"Try it again, then!" barked War, banging his shield on the table to drum up a tempo.
"Ho...ho-ho? Is that it? Oh, and do be a good chap and mind the veneer, cost the best part of my penny jar for a French Polish."
War's nostrils flared, but he did well to fight the urge to thrust the Shield of Fear through the Skull of Unappreciation.
"Right-oh!," he grinned, psychotically through gritted teeth, "are we all ready to go caroling, then?" and looked around the room to see, Pestilence, comparing the size of his tonsils with a hand mirror and a worried look; Death, examining the hair's bredth mark on the table's polish, and, Famine, greedily devouring the last of the turkey leg which had been saved for tomorrow's soup.
"Come on, you pathetic bunch of whining scalawags! Last one to 'The Head of Cerebus' gets the round in!" and up he jumped; battle-axe waving, red hair flowing in the wicked south-westerly, and out along the snowy street yelling his favourite Wagner tune into the darkness.
"Put the wood in the hole!" Pestilence shouted through the door frame.
"Mine's a pint, and some dry-roasted peanuts... and a Pepperami... and Pickled Egg in a pack of Cheese & Onion," Famine belched.
"...and it took me a lot of customers to get that lot together, I can tell you..." Death muttered, still transfixed by the groove his bony finger traced on the table-top.
The three men grew still and listened. On the breeze came the sound of distant breaking glass and a roar of laughter.
"Pint of Ale," all three nodded knowingly, and grabbed their cloaks.
Christmas eve was the one night a year they all got off together and each of them knew it would end the same as always: Death, sat morbidly in a corner, telling some student how "No-body really understood him". Pestilence, head down the bowl, learning how to spell 'Armitage Shanks' and vowing never to drink again. Famine, risking joining him at the Kebab shop, and War, locked up in Hades clinky, for causing a 'fracas with a bar-maid'.
Death grinned at the others - the office party sure was fun!