Christmas: a time for giving, a time for eating, and a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, if that’s your thing. However, the holiday season can be a pretty testing time for those who aren’t blessed with tolerance, courtesy, or the patience to watch It’s a Wonderful Life three times in a row.
Whether it’s the shock of having to spend a concentrated amount of time with your relatives, being forced to socialise with children, or the temptation to partake in your family’s traditional Christmas bust-up, here are a few pointers to help you overcome your festive gripes.
Know your exits
Finding some me time during the Christmas period can often seem impossible. If you’re legally considered a grown-up and are expected to behave like one, unfortunately it’s no longer acceptable to disappear and play The Sims 3 alone in your bedroom when there are children to be entertained and dirty dishes to be tended to. However, there will always be a few opportunities for slipping away unnoticed. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the Queen’s speech, when Love Actually inevitably comes on, and the post-lunch slump. You’re welcome.
Even if you think that you’re full, there’s always room for more
What is Christmas if not a personal eating competition with yourself? Whether you try to practise self-restraint or not, that horrible Aunt of yours is still going to tell you that you’ve put on weight in the last year, so forget trying to look graceful and stuff your face with as many pigs in blankets as you can. Always remember that the more you eat, the easier you’ll be able to sleep, and is sleep not the best form of escape?
Practise your autopilot mode
Perhaps the worst thing about Christmas is being made to hang out with distant relatives who you have nothing in common with, or worse, children. In situations where you’re required to converse with such individuals, which will probably arise soon after the moment when you’ve realised that you shouldn’t have had that fifth glass of prosecco, it’s good to have a script on hold for when you’re asked questions like: “How’s work?”, “Have you got a boyfriend yet?”, and my personal favourite, “What are your plans now that you’ve graduated?”
Be nice to Granny
If you’re finding Christmas day difficult, never forget that your Grandparents have probably had to sit through three times the amount of Christmases that you have, and that their respective snipes and gripes are all part of the fun. Try to have selected hearing when it comes to taking demands and passive aggressive insults from your elders - you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and might even prevent that Christmas bust-up that everyone is avoiding. Plus, if you ignore them long enough, they might move on to someone else in your family which will be particularly entertaining to watch with the satisfaction that you made it to the other side.
Try not to black out before Eastenders comes on
By all means enjoy a Christmas tipple or two - sometimes it’s the only way to get you through the day - but for god’s sake don’t overdo it; anything embarrassing that you do will stay with you for many Christmases to come.
Remember your Ps and Qs
Although you like to give the guise that you’re a rebellious little Scrooge who couldn’t care less about Christmas, deep down you’re just as anxious and eager to please as every other neurotic person on this planet. Don’t spoil the fun by leaving without saying please and thank you to your generous host, whoever they might be.