Christmas Day Survival Guide
The day has arrived. You knew it was coming but you still can’t believe it. You wake up and maybe lay in bed for a while; you can hear movement downstairs but you’re stalling. Casually you wander toward the source of noise in the kitchen and you’re all nonchalant like ” oh hey, merry Christmas ” and try to be all normal and stuff by making a coffee but you can’t look anybody in the eye (why does making a coffee feel weird!). Snap out of it for goodness sake! While we all know how Christmas day should play out (like in the movies right?) there always seems to be an underlying oddness to it all and you can’t seem to relax. Well, that’s the key isn’t it? RELAX. Take a chill pill. Let go of your inhibitions and do something silly and unexpected like jump up and down shouting ” IT’S CHRISTMAAAS!! “. Unless you do that anyway of course, in which case we applaud you. We’ve come up with a few tips to get you through the big day with minimal fuss, so read on and take advice where needed because a great and memorable day starts with a positive, yielding attitude…then lots of booze and food.
Great Expectations – The problem most people suffer with is the massive hype which increases in scale each year, thus diminishing the day itself…” I’m glad it’s over, it was a bit of an anti-climax!? “. So we say manage your expectations. We don’t mean you should expect it to be crap of course, but simply grab reality by the balls…and expect nothing. Empty your head. Let the day fill your brain up because after all, how can you fill a glass that is already…you know. Also, if you chase something hard enough it may possibly elude you further. So, like we said, RELAX, and you may find that Christmas does a full lap and actually catches up to you this time.
Family – Now not all movie stereotypes are desirable; the dysfunctional family is one of them (although a little drama can’t hurt as it provides entertainment). Christmas is a time where we see family and friends that perhaps we don’t see too often, or not at all! Or maybe you see them too much, and the thought of being in this whole enclosed environment is a truly suffocating prospect indeed. There are many things you can do to survive the relentless quizzings from ‘Great Aunt Hilda’ about your life choices, or the cacophonous head splitting chatter from various others (we’re a cynical bunch sometimes). When you’re in close quarters with relatives that you don’t see too often, that’s when the questions start pouring out so you must be prepared; we’re not saying you have things to hide but the subjects of girlfriends/boyfriends/jobs/arrest warrants are not always your preferred topics. Keep your wits about you, and the moment the conversation veers toward undesired territory, use all your brain power to perform evasive manoeuvres and clear the turbulent air. Another thing you should allow yourself to do is take breaks; you could go to the loo, ‘help out’ in the kitchen or just go for a fag. Failing all this pussy footing around (and if there’s a great big elephant in the room) you can simply address it straight away, nipping it in the bud so you can get on with your day.
Food & Drink – This is arguably man’s favourite part of the festive season. Our advice; eat as much as you can but not all in one go. This is the one day of the year when you can be a pig…but you must be a clever pig. For optimal gorging you should try to avoid snacking between meals like a feral dog after the sausages again. All varieties of nuts are exempt from this though, as man must eat nuts when he sees them. Pace yourself, and only take extra servings if you’re really not that full or unless the roast potatoes are about to become extinct; in this ‘CODE RED’ situation the only thing you can do is eat as many as you dare. Comments like ” I might have known you’d have some more ” can easily be laughed off and the silent resentment from the other males will diffuse slightly as they settle for more mash instead. This tension only lasts until the the pudding arrives, and by this time the war between eyes and bellies will likely have a victor. As for booze, some may start with a champagne breakfast, while others may reservedly wait until noon. Drink can cause arguments, but it can also fix them and bring laughter so we say take it steady and get merry. The food baby you’ll undoubtedly cook up throughout the course of the day will look after you and prevent you from getting too drunk; although some of you will give it a good go. And why not, it’s Christmas!
Presents – All the manic hours spent and your hard earned cash thrown away for this moment; the exchanging of gifts. Everybody loves presents but it can sometimes be an awkward and grueling situation as everybody watches each other open them with anticipation, hoping, praying that a fake reaction of joy is not required. Now everybody loves chocolates, but lets face it, you only ever buy them when you A) didn’t know what else to buy, or B) you couldn’t afford anything else, but unfortunately there’s always that cringe worthy moment when you hand the recipient their gift and they never fail to guess out loud ” ooh, I know what that is, it’s chocolate “. You flush with embarrassment, yet when the gift is hastily set aside after a quick glance you start to think hang on, they were bloody expensive actually! I’m proud of myself. You have to prepare yourself mentally for this kind of stress! You’re very fortunate indeed if giving presents doesn’t make you sweat. Now, when it comes to opening gifts yourself it’s very important to remember that it’s the thought that counts, and if you don’t like it the best thing you can do is lie. Lie through your teeth. In all seriousness, as long as you have a positive attitude and you’re willing to embrace the good cheer of the day then you’ll find all the gratitude you need and all embarrassment will wash away. When it’s all over, give yourself a pat on the back and a couple of mince pies.
Aftermath – The day draws to a close. Everybody has retired into different corners of the house. The cheeses and assorted pickled condiments are rapidly approaching room temperature, and the ghosts of Christmas food audibly emerge from sleeping grandparents. It is time to make your move; you slip past the fallen, narrowly avoid the brandy fueled conversation taking place at the table, and like a cat who has achieved victory you waltz into the kitchen to inspect the fridge for leftovers. Perhaps you’ll have a roast potato sandwich? Or finish up the smoked salmon and prawns from the starter? The possibilities are endless. Have a great Christmas.