Hey there, Grinchy. I can already see your irritation levels rising as Christmas draws closer. There are finger nail marks in the inside of your palms as you clench your fists at the sounds of carols wafting into every available airspace. The grinding of your teeth is audible as you gaze upon the naff decorations which started going up weeks ago. There is a homicidal glean in your eye and your face starts twitching when someone tells you the big tree has been put up in the city.
Some of us are just not that into Christmas, and the fact that everyone else goes Disney family movie mode at this time of year just makes the whole period a fricken nightmare.
If you are one of those people you will have developed your own coping mechanisms by now, and those most likely involve getting blackout drunk at your family dinner, loudly describing your latest sexual exploits to elderly relatives and gathering all the children around to tell them Santa is a lie.
While behaviour like that is perfectly acceptable, given the circumstances, I’d like to suggest something different this year: avoid the whole thing entirely. Here are eight ways to do that.
#1 Fake Your Own Death
This is the most obvious and effective means of avoiding Christmas. It’s guaranteed to work the first time, but after that it becomes a bit trickier. My family started to become suspicious when I did it for four years in a row. I won’t go into the specific planning details, but it’s best to keep the plot simple. For example, book yourself on a round-the-world cruise, then shortly after rounding the horn of Africa, engineer some quarrel with one of your fellow passengers. Challenge him to a pistol duel on the foredeck. When he fires his round, allow the pistol ball to graze your cheek so the crowd can see blood, then dramatically topple over the railing into the wine-dark sea. Here is where that inflated sheep’s bladder you kept under your tunic will come in handy. Remain under the surface breathing the air from that until the ship passes over the horizon. The witnesses on board will assume you dead, and convey the sad news when they arrive at the next port.
#2 Lick A Public Toilet Seat On The 22nd Of December
Your body will be so ravaged by illness by the 25th that nobody will reasonably expect you to show up for the family gathering.
#3 Join A Cult
Tattoo an all-seeing eye onto your forehead and move up into the mountains to follow the teaching of some unhinged but charismatic guru. Your family will come to rescue you eventually, but they will probably wait until after the holiday season so as to ‘avoid a fuss’. You may have been completely reprogrammed by then, but I didn’t claim any of these plans were flawless.
#4 Get Yourself Arrested On The 24th
Steal a police helicopter. Attempt to hold up a casino with a cattle prod. Chain yourself naked to Parliament House claiming to be a militant Tasmanian separatist. I dunno, use your imagination. The food in jail on Christmas Day is much better than what you’d be getting at home anyway, believe me. Last year we got roast pig and pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie!
#5 Go Way Over The Top With Fake Enthusiasm About Christmas...
to the extent your family casually leaves you out of their plans because they can’t cope with your zealotry.
That means putting up a tree and decorations six months in advance, playing carols on loop in your car for the whole year, sending text message countdowns to everyone you know (‘Only 118 days until Xmas!! I hope Prancer and Dancer have started sleigh-pulling training already <deer emoticon x12>’). I realise spending an entire year immersed in Christmas is a weird way of avoiding it, but you asked me for ideas (you clearly didn’t) and now I’m giving them to you, so shut it.
#6 Earn Yourself Selection For The Australian Test Cricket Team
With the traditional Boxing Day Test commencing on the 26th at the MCG, players are ‘forced’ to enjoy a low-profile Christmas Day, the lucky buggers. If you’re not an international-class cricketer right now, you’d better get down to the nets. You’ve only got a few weeks to become one.
#7 If you’re disgustingly rich, an easier sporting route might be entering the Sydney to Hobart yacht race...
which also starts on Boxing Day. That would mean the entire day before would have to be spent prepping for the race and, sadly, avoiding loved ones *winks*. All you need for that is a multi-million dollar super Maxi and a highly trained professional crew. And you might need to qualify or something, I have no idea.
#8 Create An Intricate Ruse In Which Your Entire Family Believes The Date Is Three Days Later Than It Actually Is
This will involve removing all their calendars months in advance as well as changing the dates on every one of their phones. Keep in touch regularly as well, and say things like, ‘How are you this fine Tuesday, mum?’ when it is in fact Saturday. You might also have to stop them from going to work somehow, and talking to other people, otherwise the elaborate future world you have created will come crashing down around you. They payoff will come when they call you on the 28th and say, ‘why aren’t you at Christmas baby?’ and you can be like, ‘Christmas was three days ago you monsters’. Genius.
Image credit: Wikipedia