Regular as clock work – always the same date, every December, every year no matter if it’s a leap year or which way the clocks are going ….. as I said regular as clock work and yet somehow, we never see it coming!
The Christmas juggernaut starts to gather momentum around Halloween ….. there is nothing more confusing than sorting your way through a rack of Fright Night masks to come across a few cheery Santa baubles from last year’s stock!
Trundle on to the 5th November and whilst the fireworks are hidden away for the strictly over 18’s – the shops are starting to fill up with Christmas cards, and selection boxes.
Any way enough of the waffle …. because it’s the season of Good Will and all that malarkey – I have very generously decided to share some of my tips that should make Christmas a little easier!
1.If you have ordered online and are expecting deliveries, cut out the following and stick to your front door: ‘Dear Postie Person, If no one is in, please, please, please, please, deliver any parcel to any neighbour on this street or even any person who happens to be passing. ‘Do not take the parcel away and make me chase it, I beg you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you from the very bottom of my exceedingly grateful heart. I love you .. really I do!
You’ll still probably end up in some Post Office depot in the back of beyond,very early in the morning manically brandishing a council tax bill as your proof of identity, but at least you will have tried.
2. If a shop assistant in Toys R Us or similar tells you a toy is ‘easy to assemble’, that assistant is probably lying and having a laugh at your expense. Yep …. Shop Assistant Emma …….. I’ve not forgotten the trauma of the Play Mobil Zoo!!!!!
3. This one is particularly for the men – please note – Women do not want any of the following as gifts: a fitness DVD; an electric toothbrush; any book with a title such as 1,000 recipes for the freezer; an iron or a new pan set (unless you want to spend Christmas Day in the casualty department with the aforementioned pan stuck to your head .. actually this might be the easier option than being in the dog house for the entire festive period.
4. Oh yes and whilst goats, wells and donkeys are nice thoughts as gifts, they are hard to wrap and difficult to hide. Hot-air balloons are also a problem and for me personally a sky dive is definite no no!!.
5. Plan a Christmas gift budget, then don’t look at what you have spent until April — or ever, and then just eat your bank statements (no calories ….. always a plus!)
6. Why not spare yourself the stress and expense of a traditional Christmas dinner that Nigella would be proud of – just do something different for a change, such as an M&S salad? This will make small children cry and frighten older people (especially if it contains an olive), but, hey, you can’t ever get through Christmas without upsetting someone anyway.
7. Do, at some point, ask yourself this: Is there any point in putting marzipan on the cake when everyone picks it off? If you answer ‘Yes’, please do not read on, as you do not deserve any help at this time.
8. Instead of just watching TV, why not play a traditional family game – such as “sleeping logs” or “hide and seek”, ensuring you are the seeker and use the time to sit down, put your feet up, have a quick G&T and hijack the remote control whilst glancing through the Christmas TV Times to ensure that all the programmes you want to watch are set to record.
9. Never throw a party yourself. No matter how many chairs you provide, someone will sit on the edge of a low (glass) table and tip it up or walk crisps into the carpet or just generally out-stay their welcome.
10. Just because you feel you ought to invite your in-law’s, it doesn’t mean you have to let them in.
11. If an assistant in PC World or similar says:
‘Yes, it’s easy to set up; it’s just plug-in-and-there-you-go,’ and ‘we provide an excellent after-care support service’
– they are also lying, the mysterious aftercare team depart with the Christmas Elves and you’ll have to seek out any child over the age of 6 to help you sort the problem .. thus rendering you indebted and feeling foolish.
12. Gift vouchers may seem like a cop-out, but after covering miles walking around Leeds, Bradford, Meadow Hall and the Trafford Centre and buying nothing apart from a boozy lunch, you’ll be amazed at how thoughtful and on-trend they suddenly seem.
13. ’Tis the season to be jolly, so, of course, you are going to feel depressed. Accept it and move on.
14. Don’t fret about falling into the ‘Christmas fat trap’, because any falls (drunken or sober) on the slippy pavements of January will be nicely cushioned, thus keeping bruising and breakages to a minimum.
15. And finally if you have done nothing yet about Christmas and are in denial, have a triple Bailey’s with a couple of Sambuca’s and you’ll be amazed by how little you care
Written by Sally Hutchinson*
*Christmas tips generously contributed after last years boozy lunch with friends .. so blame them not me!!