The Reds Guide to Surviving Christmas
If Christmas day is a relaxing time that combines mass catering, family visits, incessant travel and marital breakdown, here’s our tried and true survival guide:
With small children this is an almost impossible task. However, wrapping the presents before Christmas Eve will mean that you don’t have to stay up all night wrapping presents only to be woken before dawn by your little Christmas angels.
Before someone gets the camera out, try to brush your hair and teeth, and change out of those worn-out pyjamas. Wear something comfortable and flattering so you don’t have to worry about popping buttons after too much trifle. And if there’s any chance of sunshine, remember a hat, sunnies and sun block.
No one likes a Christmas martyr. If you’re in charge make sure to delegate and call in the helpers. People would much rather help out than to see you frazzled and not able to enjoy the season.
And if you’re not in charge, offer to do something that will actually help -something that’s clear and unambiguous and has a definite beginning and ending. Not, “I’ll help clean the kitchen” – that’s too vague. Instead, “I’ll clear the table of dirty dishes.
While many rely on a Christmas drink to kick-start the festive spirit, remember to pace yourself and drink lots of water. While food and alcohol can be a great social lubricant, no one wants to be the one who gets put to bed at 7pm after one too many Lindauers.
The only sure-fire way to evade all the flashpoints of Christmas by is to avoid saying anything to anyone. Make sure there is not a single moment when your mouth is open when there is not also something being put into it, whether it’s a mince pie, piece of pavlova, Cadbury favourite, handful of cherries or slice of Christmas cake.
And if all else fails, take time to reflect on our prehistoric ancestors. They spent their lives in small groups of 200 people or fewer. Since abandoning the tribe meant certain death in the wilderness, they had no realistic fantasy of escape. Imagine how many frustrating situations they had to deal with. So take a moment to thank God you’re not living in the Stone Age and remember that Christmas will soon be over.