Before we forget Christmas
I went to the shops on January 1 and there were Easter buns on the shelves. EASTER BUNS.
But before we digress into chocolate ovum and spicy bakery treats, let’s first debrief on the Christmas that was.
Mine was semi-traumatic. How was yours?
I have spent a great deal of time pondering why I found the failure of my Christmas so upsetting and I have come up with this:
I spent a tonne of cash trying to make it good. From presents, to seafood splurges, to Hawaiian airfares, I went bananas spending money. Cue disappointment when it doesn’t turn out well.
Solution: Spend less. Spend only what you can afford. Don’t commit to buying things that are out of your budget. Buy presents because it’s fun and forget about the outcome.
If hope is a bird that sings non-stop in your soul, you need to kill that fucker during Festivus. All that talk of joy and goodwill was clearly made up in the marketing department of Coca-Cola. No one who has ever been to a family Christmas would describe it that way. What would be more accurate is to describe it as a cross between Survivor and Days of Our Lives, except with more food and less plastic surgery. Your family, en masse, is an island you visit once a year where you overeat and play out the dramas of the year.
Solution: Stop thinking it will be fun. These people are not your friends. They are the result of a genetic lottery and, like any game of chance, there are losers. Don’t let it be you.
Exactly no one is bringing their A game at Christmas time. After a year of meetings, deadlines, duty-honouring and bill paying, not to mention a December soaked in sparkling wine and salty snacks, it is highly unrealistic to expect that people will be cheerful. Everyone is sugared-up and worn out.
Solution: If you must attend a family Christmas, structure it in such a way that you can escape when you need to. Keep your opinions about people’s life choices to yourself, play nice, and walk away from arguments before they begin. Christmas is not the time to unleash a year’s worth of scrutiny on your relatives, nor is it a time to spend half the day crying in the toilet.