Now if your family looks at little less like this...
And a little more like this at Christmas...
Then congratulations, you are part of the millions of people who wake up in the morning to the REAL world (and no, do not expect a certificate).
Christmas is a time for sitting in a stuffy living room with people you often wouldn't choose to spend time with otherwise while someone is clearly pissed off at not getting a certain present and most of you want to go home. While usually the poor mother of the family (she actually has the best job with a sanctuary away from everyone else) slaves away in the kitchen over a meal hoping that she's made your favourite dish just right. Because after all, it's Christmas.
What you need to remember is, it's just one day. As simple as that sounds, everyone needs an arsenal of coping strategies to get through 12 hours of an emotional roller-coaster. Expect sarcasm, laughter, bickering, someone being ungrateful, someone getting upset, someone creating an atmosphere, someone not understanding that there is an atmosphere therefore making an inappropriate joke, someone who isn't part of the family so is therefore feeling very awkward and the drunk.
So now, here is a list of tips and tricks to make Christmas that little bit more enjoyable (even if it is just for you).
1. When an argument erupts keep your eyes down and your mouth shut. For the love of God don't laugh. I've found that it doesn't seem to help.
2. It's Christmas, you can drink from the second you wake up so use this to your advantage and turn the day into a drinking game. Someone got you socks? One shot. Mum burnt something? Two shots and so on.
3. Don't offer to help unless you actually want to. You will 'yes ' as a response and you don't want to start a row by moaning about something you've offered to do.
4. Find excuses to get out for 5 minutes. Now I'm not suggesting taking up smoking, this will be my first proper year having quit and I'm terrified. Good ideas are things like, let the dog out, say you've left something in your car, pretend you have a phone call.
5. Don't audibly compare this Christmas to last Christmas or Christmas at so and so's. It won't go down well.
6. Don't suggest the cook 'tries that' or do what 'Delia said'. Unless you want to spend Boxing day in A and E.
7. Look after the outcasts. If you can see someone is quiet or just not into it then talk to them. Include everyone, they are probably thinking the same things you are.
8. Do something! You'll be far less bored if you potter about tidying wrapping away but don't get annoying with it.
9. Suggest something! Even if it gets turned down at least you've tried. If the day is feeling a bit stagnant then suggest a game or a walk or something. It will make it enjoyable for you.
10. RELAX and ENJOY. It's one day a year and if you don't get involved in the silliness you can actually have a rather nice day.
Only a week to go, I hope you all have a fabulous time if I don't post until then. I want to hear all about it so tell me in the comments! xx