The festive season is upon us. For some (men) that means a few days off work with our feet up, drinking and eating and living in either pajamas or a Christmas jumper. For others (women)
this time of year means, stress, cooking for ten thousand, making sure we have enough nibbles, buying the entire family the perfect gifts and fireproofing the kitchen because no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot seem to stop that Goose fat from smoking like a pile of tires on the burn.
So how can we stay stress free this season? Shall we leave it all to the men? Have you not seen ‘Don’t tell the Bride’.
Here’s a few tips on how not to have a nervous breakdown.
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At the risk of sounding like your Nan, planning really is one of the easiest ways to avoid potential disaster. Write yourself a few to do lists, and try not to do what i do or lose them or accidentally delete them off of my iPhone. The only way to plan Christmas, in my belief is in the same way as NASA plan a missile launch or Kim Kardashian plans her contouring.
If your family or friends are in two minds about what to do, be ruthless and tell them they are not coming. You can’t have every Tom, Dick and Harry you don’t even really like messing up your seating plan because they might get a better offer. Sack them off, make life easy, only cook for the fella and kids and then lumber yourself on some other sucker for the evening when you are too full to move and are 5 wines in from dinner.
So this season, don’t class planning as ringing everyone in the morning to find out whether they want stuffing or not, REALLY get on that shit. Get some folders and highlighters and really go for it with your lists.
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So you’ve done your planning, and your list looks like something that should be exhibited at the Saatchi gallery. But now the big one. PREPARE. Include preparation in your planning and REALLY think about what could be done the day before to save you having to prepare an entire fancy roast in one day.
Think about whether you could stick your hand up the birds arse on Christmas eve? (I mean your Turkey, I don’t want to know what you got up to at the Christmas work do after a Jager).
Could you peel your potatoes and leave them in water? Do you luckily live in a child free home and have the luxury of setting the table the night before, without risk of it being used as a camp or loom band station? At least sort your outfit. I don’t know about anyone else, but having a clean, ironed outfit ready for the next day hanging on my wardrobe door makes me feel like fucking Wonder Woman, and like I could take over the world.
Until my alarm goes off at 6am.
Let the little things go
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Some of your Brussels might come out a bit soggy. There may be that ONE toy you forgot batteries for because you thought they were AA’s like every other electrical thing in Western Civilization but they turned out to be those bastard triple A’s no one ever has in the cupboard. Your table cloth may not go all the way to the ends as you were busy doing a million and one thing to do a test measure. Dinner might be a bit too early, and your Uncle might have to watch the Queens speech on catch up, or Youtube. You might forget to feed the cats in all the drama. You might have a small fire, or need to beat the smoke alarm off the ceiling with a stick. The first batch or Yorkshires will certainly burn, and you will be left using the emergency Aunt Bessies and hope no one notices.
But everyone’s together, no ones died (which is a miracle as one of the kids got ‘X Factor’ karaoke for Christmas), and everyone just about seems happy. Let the little things go and purchase a home fire extinguisher.
Have a Drink
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Yes, Christmas! The one day of the year when absolutely no one can judge you for cracking open the champers at 7.00am when you wake up. No one can call you an alcoholic for getting through the rest of the bottle while you cook dinner. Just get a temperature probe and hope you are sober enough to look at the numbers, then you wont need to worry about inadvertently giving your whole family salmonella because you have done a bottle of prosecco and pinot grigio before you’ve even got to second baste.
If you can’t drink at Christmas, then seriously when can you drink? Certainly not at New Year’s when all the drinks are nearly £10 a pop and you run out of money and need a cab home.
There’s also something about Christmas, where ever household seems to magically become a bar over night and have scrupulous amounts of alcohol, including things you ONLY drink at Christmas like Baileys and Advocaat.
So take advantage of Baby Jesus giving you a free pass and drink until your hearts content!
Buy yourself a present as well
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With all the stress of finding your kids all that Frozen garb they are after and your Mum and Dad the EXACT bottle of wine they keep going on about that they had in France that time, it’s easy to forget about yourself. There are going to be loads of occasions to dress up glam, and you probably wont have time to shop like you usually do.
You can guarantee your other half will get you something you neither wanted nor asked for, like a steam cleaner that was on offer in Poundland or some underwear that wouldn’t look out of place on those Bad Taste Bears (who remembers those though?), and your kids will give you something they made at school which resembles shit glued to more shit with glitter on.
So if you do want a treat like those Louboutins or that bottle of Flower bomb, buy it for yourself and leave it under the tree for something to look forward too. Then, no matter how stressful Christmas day is you can look forward to strutting around in shoes that will make you want to cut your feet off from the pain or smelling like a whores handbag.
Remember why you do it
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It’s tiring, stressful, a massive run up for one day, over before you know it, and you don’t ACTUALLY see everyone for long because you are too busy. But when everyone’s sat, full to the brim, watching shite TV and chatting away contented, wearing their various tacky Christmas presents and playing their board games, you can’t help but feel it’s all been worth it. So what if your Uncle is annoying, and insists on telling you the year every song was made and the name of it, and your Mum drives you cracker by constantly asking you if you are alright, if you got that cold seen too and if you still have that dodgy mole. It’s the first and last time you’ll all be under one roof annoying the hell out of each other for another 364 days, so you might as well make the most of it.