“It’s Christmas!” bawls Noddy Holder. Christmas time, all the family are round and the booze is flowing. Oh, how I love the chorus of ‘You’ve gained weight’ and ‘Have you got a man in your life yet?’. YES I have gained weight, Gran. Sorry no, Mr Right hasn’t come along yet. Haha, yes I am aware my parents met when they were seventeen.
I especially love it when my younger sibling looks like a model and I just stand there like a sack of spuds, looking awkward and feeling bloated after all that Bucks Fizz and Bombay mix.
Arguments about television are a Christmas classic. Christmas TV is prime time viewing. Of course everyone has something they really, really want to watch on Christmas Day. And let’s face it, your suggestion will probably be ignored.
In our house, I am always forced to be silent when the Queen’s Speech is on. My Grandma will tut when anyone goes on their phone. I’m even forced to make frequent trips to the loo just to check out my Instagram and Twitter profiles.
My room is given to our guests, so I have to sleep on the blow-up bed in the lounge and wake up with a dodgy back and stiff neck. Not to mention the stampede of people trampling on me and kicking the bed at 5am when they are trying to head out the door to the Boxing Day sales.
Believe it or not, you can survive this Christmas with your family. So practice your best smile for when you receive the crappiest gift possible (collectable dolphin statues anyone?) and don’t complain about any of the food, especially if you’re not cooking.
5 tips for a stress-free family Christmas 2015
1. Be patient with your elders
I know my grandparents don’t mean to be rude but it’s important to remember that their generation is just very judgemental. Just take their ‘kind’ words with a pinch of salt. They’ll be asleep come the afternoon anyway.
2. Too many cooks spoil the broth
There will be tension- especially around the kitchen area. Unless you want to be helpful, I suggest try not to annoy anyone in there. They are trying to multi-task a million different things. I know full well to stay clear of my mum when she is cooking. Thankfully it was my dad’s turn this year.
3. Do it for the kiddies
Christmas is all about the little children, who are in awe at the magic of it all, who still believe in Father Christmas and his elves, and who don’t understand the concept of taking gifts back to shops for a sweet little cash refund. Help them open their presents or at least pretend to take interest in their new Frozen toy or Lego or perhaps even electric car for kids.
4. Be a good host
Your mum will be really pleased. If you hand out the mulled wine, you have less time to endure awkward conversation with that annoying distant relative because you’re ‘attending to everybody’. You can also eat the snacks too whilst you prepare them in those ugly dishes that mum keeps for special occasions. Winner.
5. Keep Calm and Carry On
Lastly, remember, it’s just one day a year! Can I hear that festive cheer? No rhyming intended, I swear.