Though on some levels it’s fun to see your whole family over Christmas, on many more levels it is extremely painful.
Families are great in short bursts, or when they send you money, but spending extended periods of time with them in a small space with the stress of Christmas Day added is a recipe for insanity.
Here are some tips on how to cope, many of which involve faking a nervous breakdown.
1. Whenever anyone says the word Christmas, shout out “Cockwomble!” as loudly as possible. When confronted about this, vehemently deny you did it. Everyone will start to tiptoe around the subject until eventually it becomes like a normal, relaxed* day at home (*relaxed for you, nerve-frayingly tense and confusing for your family).
2. Start drinking early. Like, really early. Before you go to sleep on Christmas Eve, prepare a stiff Manhattan and place it beside your bed, ready to drink as soon as you wake up. That should get you rolling into the morning.
3. Convince everyone, individually, that your uncle has lost the plot and is planning to assassinate them. Watch how people slip into survival mode and become way less annoying.
4. Pretend you have an important speech prepared to be read out at the Christmas meal. Walk around with a piece of paper (shopping list, a printed out Metropolist article, whatever) “practicing your lines” and ignoring anyone who talks to you. When it comes time to eat, shovel as much food as you can into your mouth and then say, “I can’t go through with this, I’m sorry!” and storm out. Go around a friend’s place and play Xbox or swim in their pool.
5. Announce at the start of the day that as a protest you will only speak in interpretive dance until interpretive dance is introduced as a compulsory subject in primary school. People will get sick of talking to you very quickly.
6. Insist over and over again in the lead up to Christmas Day that you don’t want any presents this year because of the commercialisation of a once-sacred occasion, then throw the mother of all tantrums when you don’t get any presents. Point at each person in the room and say, “I. Trusted. You. And. You. Betrayed. Me.”
7. Arrange for Marilyn Manson to come along as your Christmas date. He’s very distracting/entertaining in these situations, trust me.
8. Set off the smoke alarm in the hall every 30 minutes or so then make everyone sit cross-legged on the lawn like when you did fire drills at school “until we are certain the is no clear and present danger”. Most people will have left or have sunstroke by 2pm.
9. When asked how the food is, say stuff like “it’s fine, don’t worry about it, really it’s fine” until the main food preparer suffers a breakdown and tells you to get out.
10. Demand that the whole family sings Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas (Is You)” as a round, then make everyone start again when your four-year-old cousin doesn’t hit the right high notes. Rinse and repeat 20 or so times until the family unit breaks down completely.
Photo Credit: Snakkle