The goose is well on it’s way to obesity and if you are reading this you have survived the frenzy that is Christmas Shopping on the local High Street, or for the more daring the local shopping centre. You’ve got your Christmas presents home managing (hopefully) to avoid any major injuries. You’ve wrapped them and written all your cards with a minimum of paper cuts and blood stains. You’ve done a majority of your food supply shopping, and have enough stockpiled to feed a small third world nation for the whole of next year.
You’ve laid the ground-work, put in the hard yards, but now comes the part that really requires some work at surviving. At some point over the week or so involving Christmas and New Year, you will need to spend time with the family. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my family to bits, as I’m sure we all do, but in our household we spend from Christmas Eve until the New Year in one house. We aren’t the largest family, there are 7 of us, but understandably at this incredibly stressful time of year tempers do flare, and people do get under each others feet. With this in mind I am going to share what I can to help navigate this perilous period.
- The first and most important of these I feel is practising your “That’s a really thoughtful gift!” look beforehand, and coming up with a few phrases to exclaim how “great” the present is. The fact is we are all going to get at least one present we will find it hard to get excited about be it socks, hankies, pants, or a dodgy scarf knitted by Aunt Muriel, but it is dealing with this situation successfully that will determine your likelihood of surviving. Practising in the mirror helps so that you can see your face when doing so, and having more than one “Oh that’s brilliant, just my colour!” sort of phrase avoids repetition, that in the early stages of the day may still be noticed. After all they have put thought and effort into getting your present, you can do likewise to at least pretend you like it.
- If someone else hasn’t perfected tip No 1, don’t take it personally. If they didn’t tell you they didn’t want a new handle for their broom, or a ’funny’ novelty item what can you do!?
- I have fallen foul of this one myself, but whatever you do, NEVER, pester Mum, or whoever is in the kitchen preparing the banquet that is Christmas dinner! It will not be appreciated. It’s probably cold outside, so the heating will be on, as will every cooking appliance in the kitchen. Consequently it will be hotter than hell in there. So you making a snide remark about lunch being late is not going to go down too well.
- If you intend to give gifts that require batteries remember, THEY ARE NOT INCLUDED! Or at least not normally, so buy some to ensure the recipient can use their present. Inability to do so causes great frustration, especially in children.
- Lastly, and most important is to have fun and not take the whole thing too seriously. Enjoy spending time with those family members you maybe don’t see too much of. Eat, drink, and be merry, whilst of course ensuring that all these are done responsibly!