Wednesday 12 December 2018

A Humorous Guide to Getting Through Christmas by Mel Darbon

         A humorous Guide to Getting Through Christmas by Mel Darbon                                                                                                    
Holly Ornament Holiday · Free vector graphic on Pixabay

On the run up to Christmas I thought I would write a simple guide on how to survive the festive season. Hopefully it will put a smile on your face and give you some useful tips…

Coping with Parents:
1: Accept that the instant you step over the threshold of your parent’s house on Christmas Eve that you will become the child again, and that no matter how much it irritates you, it is best to give in to it, so as to avoid self-combustion. After all, it probably won’t be long until your roles are reversed, and you will become the parent to your parents. Then you will yearn for the time your mother drew a pirate face on your boiled egg and asked if you wanted marmite soldiers to dunk in the yolk.

Your parents are going to treat you like you’re five because they will never accept that you’re a grown up holding down a responsible job with a partner and three kids of your own, because you will always be their little girl or boy. They will always ask, ‘Have you been to the loo?” before you go out the house - and then ask if you’ve washed your hands afterwards. Either give in gracefully or pre-empt it all by gleefully telling your mum you’ve been for a wee-wee and waggle your lavender scented hands under her nose.

                                                            DVIDS - Images - Spartan paratroopers jump in Arctic gear ...   
Avoid the next inevitable question, as you prepare to go for the pre-Christmas Day walk, “Are you going to be warm enough in that cagoule?” by wrapping yourself up like a Yeti in Merino wool socks, fleece pants and sweatshirt, winter boots and a thermal parka. If you pass out from heat exhaustion by the time you get home, at least be pleased that you’ll have sweated off half a stone and be ready for the humungous Christmas lunch.
2: Family quirks.
Accept any of your family’s eccentricities or it will drive you insane. Repeat to yourself in the mirror, whilst practising smiling sweetly, “It’s only for three days.” 

If your mother wants to get all the lunch items out straight after breakfast to bring them up to room temperature – let her. A mild stomach upset is always better than listening to her stressing about it for four hours if you suggest she leaves the food in the fridge.

If Aunty Ivy licks all the Quality Street to see which ones she likes best, come prepared with your own labelled tin, so you don’t end up eating the sweets she’s put back. It’s not worth the dysentery that will rip through you if you do.
                                                                                    BIG IMAGE (PNG)


Be prepared for your mother to be full of the spirit of Christmas, in more ways than one, and do her usual Christmas bonhomie, “Help yourself to anything you want – what’s ours is yours.” Resist loading up the car with the family heirlooms and understand that your mother doesn’t mean it literally. On borrowing a cardigan once, as I’d forgotten to bring my own, my mother fixed me with a glassy stare and through thinned lips said, “I hope that’s not something else of mine you’re going to steal...”

And talking of cardigans, make sure you bring clothes for both arctic and tropical temperatures, as your parents will argue incessantly about the house being either too hot or too cold. A battle will ensue to secretly switch the thermostat up or down leaving you either boiling hot and sweating like a pig or freezing cold with an icicle hanging off the end of your nose.    
                                                Clipart - Sad face with sweatdrop
3: Food.
Even if your parents asked you if there were any special food items that you would like – they won’t have got them, putting it down to a fad and something that you will grow out of. If you can’t live without your ancient-seeded sourdough or your fermented vegetables, bring them with you – but expect to be ridiculed. You can always disappear upstairs every so often to thrash your bed with a stick, to let off steam.

If you’re newly vegan – forget it. Your parents simply won’t be able to cope, and you won’t be able to cope with any discussion on why you’ve made this decision. Prepare to be converted back to meat. Your father will simply repeat, like a stuck record, that in a few months’ time you will have come to your senses.  If you bring your own gluten-free, butternut squash nut loaf, be prepared for your father to ask your mother, “Why have you roasted one of Oliver’s logs?’ (Oliver being the ancient, arthritic dog) and then laugh loudly at his own joke. 
                                                                        Firewood Forest Log · Free vector graphic on Pixabay

Go on a detox before you go to your parents as you know your mother is a feeder. She will be offended if you don’t clear your plate every time (remember she survived the war years and rationing) - even if she’s piled your plate up so high it resembles the Shanghai Tower. Just tell yourself that you are going to go in to hibernation afterwards and need the extra layer of fat to survive.

Constantly praise the cook - after all it took ten hours of preparation and only ten minutes for everyone to demolish it. Please your mother too by wearing the Christmas hat from the crackers around the dinner table. What does it matter if you look like a bonehead for a couple of hours? No one is going to see you outside of the room and if your nephew decides to post them up on Instagram, at least you won’t be alone in your humiliation as there will be hundreds of drunken posts.

Keep away from sugar at any age – even adults can get hyper.

4: Presents.
No matter how much care or thought you put into buying presents, you’ll never get it right. That special whiskey you spent hours hunting down for your father and spent a year’s wages on, because it’s the only one he’ll drink, will be met on opening with a big sigh and a, “I haven’t touched this stuff in months, as it gives me terrible wind.” 

Of course, you have to love all the gifts that you receive, even when you know your cousin got the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer tea-towel from Poundland, as you got the same one for Aunty June. Practise saying, “It’s what I always wanted” until you start to believe it yourself and then put it away to give to another relative the following Christmas. 

Avoid noisy toys for pets or children as they will drive you insane – if you haven’t been carted off in a white van already.

Avoid looking at what your siblings unwrap in case they won the parent jackpot this year and it sets your second-child-syndrome therapy back ten years.

 Don’t be upset when you unwrap that bottle of loo cleaner that your mother put under the tree - it’s not personal. Everyone got one as your mother found a bargain box of ten for two pounds at Aldi - and if she’s anything like my mother she has a padlock on her wallet.

5: Drink.
Avoid downing too many glasses of bubbly. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s bound to end in disaster. Not least, it will stop fisticuffs with your brother when he sneaks one of your mother’s five-hundred-pound notes from her winnings and slips it under the Monopoly board so that he can buy Mayfair. You don’t want to end up not talking to him again for another year. If you drink too much, you’ll also end up spilling all those secrets you don’t want to give away, which will inevitably end up on Twitter or Facebook, so that the whole world now knows them. Stick to tipsy and see Christmas through rose-tinted glasses.

Free Images : celebration, carnival, drink, celebrate ...
6: Television.
You will have to endure the soaps whether you like it or not. Your mother hasn’t missed an episode since time began and she likes to share them with you. Get some earplugs. You know it will only make depressing viewing and that you’ll end up losing the will to live as half the characters are maimed, murdered or burnt by a boiled sprout thrown at them by a disgruntled spouse.

                                                                  Imagem vetorial gratis: Bombeiros, Machado, Brasão De ...

Watch the Queen’s Speech and pay attention because your father will want to analyse it later.

7. Christmas music.
On a loop. Keep calm, even if you do want to pulverise the CD with a hammer after it’s played for the eighth time. It gives your father fond memories of when he was a boy scout and went carol singing. Bide your time, because you can disconnect the power when everyone else has fallen asleep after lunch.

8. Goodwill.
Above all else, remember that it is the season of goodwill. Watch, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, sit back, relax and have a very Happy Christmas! After all, it only comes once a year. Holly Ornament Holiday · Free vector graphic on Pixabay 
 Mel Darbon

@Darbon Mel


No comments: