How To Survive A Christmas Holiday

I have to say, when I started seeing Christmas things hitting the shelves, I, like a lot of you sighed... walked down the aisle, picked up a seasonal tub of mini cheddars and went about the rest of my regular shopping. (By the way, am I the only one who wants those crinkly mini cheddars back? There must be a petition somewhere.)

On December 1st, the date that everyone generally accepts as the official time for Christmas, that all changed. I got up early and headed to the office where I put up our tree and bedazzled desks with tinsel. I took just an hour of my time with some precarious clambering on tables, but it definitely kicked off my Christmas spirit.



At that point I'd also basically finished my Christmas shopping and I'm now supremely skint until next pay day... next Friday... not that I'm counting down the days.

Unfortunately it feels like most of my festivities are going to be saved for the office. There didn't seem like much point in putting up a tree at home when I'm not there for Christmas again. Although I did cave and put up some lights to give me a pastel mood light to write by.

My floor is currently laid with presents, none of which are for me, and most of which come with a high temptation level to consume. (As time has gone on, people don't want to get cluttered with presents that linger... which always means lingering consumables!)

So... how are you supposed to survive the festive season?

My simple answer is something you might hear quite often... "eat, drink and be merry". Honestly it really is that simple.

Eat


You have to accept the fact that you will eat too much food. It's tradition, and it doesn't matter how hard you try, you'll end up getting that extra box of chocolates because they're on offer, or getting that extra large dessert even though you never have them usually.

For some reason there are three extra meal time slots on Christmas Day:

Breakfast: 5-8am, depending on if you have kids.
Present time snacks: 10.30am
Pre-lunch lunch: 12pm
Lunch: 2pm
Supper: 7pm
Dinner: 10-11pm

Of course those aren't the only times people eat... I don't know about you but apart from stealing little snippets of food from the kitchen as it's being cooked, there's always a table somewhere in the house that's filled with Ritz Crackers, breadsticks, dips, pate and ported stilton. (Well, stiltoned port would be a more appropriate description) There's also usually somewhere with a stack of chocolate boxes and other sweet treats.

All intentions start out good... "No, don't get anything special in." "No, don't buy any desserts in."

They quickly turn bad... "Have you seen those new [insert highly advertised food stuff]? We should get some."

Drink


Bucks Fizz, the acceptable way to drink fizz first thing in the morning.

I'm not sure how I can really help you with this one, being as most of the time I don't drink. But I do enjoy watching other people getting merry at Christmas.

Always remember that the recycling box never lies... yes you really did have that many bottles of wine, fizz, port, vodka and brandy.

Christmas is also a time for bizarrely spiced drinks. Things inexplicably have spices, cranberries and Baileys in them. And as I've mentioned it... stop making Baileys taste funny... it was fine as it was, you don't need to add anything to it!

Be Merry


Merriment comes in all shapes and sizes. First and foremost... Christmas jumpers, t-shirts and dresses. Accompanied by festive shoes, slippers and sparkly head gear.


I've been slacking a bit on the Christmas jumper front this year. I've picked up a couple of good t-shirts, and I dug out my previous collection. This year I also brought some fabulous shoes from Irregular Choice... I'm so ridiculously happy with them. I should be wearing them with everything.


You've been hearing Christmas tunes for weeks, but now is the time to truly embrace them. If you don't sing "All I Want For Christmas Is You" at least once and set off dogs howling, then you're doing it wrong! Every time I've driven to work in the last week I've had my Christmas CD belting out with my windows open... commuters are going enjoy my tunes whether they like it or not.

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Of course there are lots of other Christmassy things that you could do. Remember to get your Radio Times to scour the TV listings, before you realise that Christmas TV specials aren't what they used to be. Top tip: If you want to line up good programs to watch over the festive season, start scrolling through all the channels now and record them in advance, I've basically been watching them for the last week!

So while I'm off checking to see that I've got all the right presents wrapped and cards written, I'll leave you with this thought... this time in a week, you'll be slouching on a sofa wishing you hadn't had that second serving of... well, of everything.

Have a very happy Christmas, and if you don't celebrate Christmas have a very nice day where you can't go out and do much of anything.

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