Becoming a student means that we all have to accept the undeniable fact that Christmas is no longer fun. Being forced back home and paraded around a succession of annoying relatives is just another excuse for your mum to embarrass you. And you aren’t allowed to do anything about it because, as everyone insists upon reminding you, “it’s Christmas!”
For children Christmas involves eating three selection boxes for breakfast, breaking their new toys five minutes after opening them and forcing everyone to watch their cringe-worthy DVD selection.
But for the rest of us it is nothing more than an agonisingly drawn out test to see how long each member of the family can suppress their mutual resentment towards one another. The worst part is it seems to come earlier every year. The first of September rolls around and already the local shop has started stocking advent calendars, blaring out Michael Buble and forcing everyone who works there into degrading reindeer antlers. For the next four months we will all be subjected to this enforced merriment. Love it or hate it, Christmas is here and although nothing can change that, there are a few things to remember that will make the whole process slightly less infuriating.
Don’t go out on Christmas Eve, waking up with a hangover isn’t going to make the day any more bearable and the expectation that we all need to be having the best time of our lives means you’ll be forced to join in. No matter how much you would rather be spending the day with your head in the toilet.
Similarly, don’t get too drunk on Christmas Day, now that we’re all ‘proper’ adults the temptation to down whatever drinks are in reach can seem like a desirable option, especially when someone suggests a game of Monopoly, but try to resist or five years from now your family will still be bringing up the time you made your nan cry by swearing all through the Queen’s speech before passing out on the floor.
Fake a smile, of course you didn’t really want or need that small ceramic hedgehog but just pretend like it’s the best thing you’ve ever seen or everyone will think you’re a complete brat.
Pace yourself with the food, obviously the one good thing about Christmas is the excuse to eat as much as is humanly possible, and although it is difficult to fight the urge to devour your body weight in twiglets before the turkey is even in the oven, you may come to regret this decision later on when the thought of that gravy soaked feast you’ve been waiting all year for has suddenly lost its appeal.
Buy your presents early, if you’re a true Grinch at heart then the Christmas shopping rush should fill you with dread so try and be organised. If you leave it until the last minute then desperation will drive you to waste the last remaining pittance of your student loan on useless kitchen gadgets that will end up in the back of the cupboard collecting dust.
When times get tough, try and cling on to the knowledge that it will all be over soon and in the meantime you can numb the pain with another guilt-free mince pie. Bah humbug!