lifestyle

A Gen Y guide to surviving Christmas Day.

You may think you like Christmas, but you’d be wrong.

Sure, families are great, so is food, the key to both though is small doses.

Christmas day with extended family is typically both a boozy affair and an emotional minefield.

Which is why you need a plan. A good one.

A way to get in and out, fed, hugged and remembered fondly with no hurt feelings, no weird mid-evening hangover and no regrets.

We’ve got you covered.

1. Scope out a good hiding spot.

Find a safe zone on entry. A quiet bedroom, an upstairs bathroom, a patch of grass hidden by bushes. You’re after somewhere out of sight, where your relatives aren’t going to go. Remember: this is your oasis.

2. Drink, but don’t let it compromise your exit strategy.

Drinking at Christmas can be a great way to suppress emotional trauma, put yourself at ease and increase your susceptibility to bad jokes made by relatives.

“What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney?”

“Claustrophobia!”

I hear that, Santa. I hear that. The trick is drinking just enough to leverage maximum Christmas cheer, ie. enough to make you enjoy wearing a festive paper hat on or hug one of your cousins (not the weird one). Just don’t forget: you need to be lucid enough to make it out of there.

Which brings me to point three…

3. Have an exit strategy.

How are you getting home? Uber? Taxi? If you are driving, DO NOT drink too much. The last thing you want is to get stuck sobering up with the hangers on.

Having somewhere to be is great. Make plans with your friends, this will give you chance to both debrief and actually get merry.

(Go home and catch up on your Netflix.)

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4. Keep it light, conversation-wise.

Alright you’re doing it: mingling. Keep things simple by not indulging in topics likely to start fights with regressive relatives.

Yes, that was racist. But look, a fluffy dog!

Oh god, that was certainly classist. The weather is looking good though, isn’t it?

No, no, you’re not a lesbian. Yes, yes, you are wearing overalls.

No, that does not mean you are a lesbian.

Look, you might be a lesbian.

Frankly, is it really any of your business if I am lesbian?

Yes, you’re quite right, at least I don’t look like a weird goth any more. How about that Coalition government, eh?

Help. Me.

5. Remember your happy place.

Retreat inside your head.

they're all a bunch of jerks

6. Don’t play with the kids.

Don’t be fooled, this is not a viable way out.

Adults are terrible, but children are exhausting. Admittedly, they are cute — and, occasionally, hilarious — but don’t engage too early in the day or you risk getting stuck in an endless game of Spin You Around By Your Arms Really Fast. In which, you will become a human hills hoist for the remainder of your natural life.

Sure, make friends with the next generation, mould them, but do it right before lunch or at the very end of the day. That way, they’ll be distracted by food or so knackered they’ll have to go to bed, but will remember you fondly as The Cool One, who spun them around by their arms at speed.

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7. Find a pet instead.

Pets are great. Go find that dog. Don’t let it out of your sight again.

Take it to your secret patch of grass or, better yet, if someone risks disturbing your sanctuary, take the dog for a really long walk.

8. Pack a book.

No pets? Read a book.

9. Pack a phone charger.

This is essential.

Your smart phone is your lifeline. It will keep you in contact with the real world, connect you with commiserating chums, aid you in taking hilarious selfies with your relatives’ weird knick knacks AND get you that Uber home.

Keep it close, keep it fully charged.

10. Pack a change of clothes.

Anything can happen at family Christmas. You’ll probably drop your lunch on yourself, for a start.

Someone might spill a drink on you, you could trip while spinning your cousin around, the dog might jump up…

Or, you know, you may accidentally vomit on yourself in your fancy Aunty’s bathroom after over-indulging, and have to secretly clean your Chrissy frock. If this does happen to you, certainly don’t tell anyone, especially not your sister who will inevitably blurt it out when she’s pissed at the next family function.

It happens.

11. Pack Tupperware.

You need snacks for the road, it’s been a big day.

12. Action your exit strategy.

Get out. Go home, open a beer and watch Home Alone with your fellow snake people.

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Until next year, ya filthy animals.

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