How to survive Christmas…

24 Dec

A COMBINATION of stinking hangovers, monopoly wars and someone buying you a top labelled two sizes too big are just some of the things that we could expect to make Christmas a lot less jolly.

There might be presents, Quality Street and a good ole dose of Shakin’ Stevens – but like every Christmas episode of Eastenders – you can almost guarantee that something will end in disaster.

Whether it’s a death stare moment with the in-laws, a drunken uncle who crashes into your shiny new 50” plasma TV, or someone sobbing about the innocently-meant pot of anti-wrinkle cream they received as a gift – the chances of emerging on Boxing Day unscathed is virtually impossible.

You see, I’ve had my fair share of Christmas disasters to come to terms with myself. First there was the year when I dropped my father’s new phone into a mug of tea after claiming I could beat his Snake 2 score. Then there was the time when my mother made a disastrous attempt to cook duck instead of turkey – resulting in a rather non-traditional meal of Asda chicken slices to go alongside our sprouts.

However possibly the most memorable-for-all-the-wrong reasons moment, was when a cousin of mines drunken girlfriend thought it may be appropriate to karate chop him whilst wearing a full-blown martial arts get-up, (true story) resulting in him requiring a rather swift trip to the emergency room and a supremely bruised ego. They broke up a few months later and he has developed a relentless obsession with the gym ever since.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas. I love the giving and receiving of presents, the frantic guzzling of wine and the obscure obsession with creepy-looking Christmas men who walk through the city centre on decorated stilts  –  making adults smile ludicrously and children scream in terror.

I suspect even the self-proclaimed Scrooges out there who think Christmas is all just a big money-grabbing scam have a secret fondness for the festivities, sneaking home to catch a Christmas special of The Royle Family on BBC One.

However it would be a blatant lie to say that surviving Christmas without some sort of catastrophe is going to be easy. In an ideal world, everyone would be grateful of their gifts, hard liquor wouldn’t cause people to pour out their past grudges and everyone would be patient on waiting their turn to try out the new Wii Fit.

Unfortunately this simply isn’t always the case, (I’m sure Phil Mitchell would agree) so it’s always good to have some sort of back-up plan to avoid everyone killing each other.

Perhaps one of my main pieces of advice would be to choose wisely when it comes to giving gifts. Yes, it is the thought that counts and yes, it is pretty damned rude for your best friend to scowl at The Idiots Guide To Finding a Non-loser Boyfriend book you bought them off Amazon, however please do refrain from giving gifts that could be considered either insulting, degrading or boring. No-one wants a car air-freshener for Christmas. It reads I’m cheap, you’re my own personal chauffeur and your car smells of a teenage boys football socks.

A few other survival methods include the following: feigning interest over stories from the 80s, using spirits as a sort of tranquillizer, cackling manically at your dad’s bad jokes, giving gifts in only cash to your teenage siblings, owning an ipad on of which you can watch your own festive TV programmes on, wearing a tightly secured hat when your niece asks if she can play ‘hairdresser’ with you, buying spare batteries, letting your gran have the last chocolate and finally – wearing earplugs.

Have a wonderful Christmas. And please, do try not to kill one another.

Hopefully then you’ll be able to make it through to the New Year.


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