When your sister cosies up for a picture...
1. You don’t have to hug anyone. You don’t have to kiss anyone. You don’t have to initiate any physical contact with anyone you don’t want to. It is high time it stopped being custom for parents to push their offspring towards distant relatives for a kiss and a cuddle. Whilst it may seem ridiculous to an adult, children are more impressionable than we’ll ever know and telling your child that they owe someone a hug either just because they haven’t seen said person in a while or because they bought them a gift can set a precedence for them questioning whether or not they then owe another person any type of physical affection when they’ve seemingly done something nice for them later in life.
Top tip - treat yourself to some Maternity wear this Festive season. You won't regret it.
2. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Don’t feel as though your portion sizes and menu choices can be controlled by anyone other than yourself. It’s fuckin’ Christmas, y’all! And, for me, that evokes the image of cheese boards, warm pork pies, sandwiches piled high with leftovers and enough roast potatoes to sink a small ship. It is a time for eating, drinking and being merry. Oh, and giving and receiving nothin’ but love. Which is actually quite hard to do on an empty stomach.
Paired with her new Onesie, it was a Christmas ensemble no-one could rival.
3. Christmas, New Year and whatever else you celebrate is just that; a celebration. It is a celebration where you are almost guaranteed a couple of days off. So please don’t feel guilty about spending each and every hour in your brand new pyjamas. They won’t be that fluffy forever, you know. And donning a full face of slap and a pair of high heels JUST to eat your M&S turkey dinner is a waste of time and energy.
Let your friends know that your thinking of them this season (in a less creepy, stalker-like way).
4. It’s OK to be sad. Yeah, I say it a lot and, yeah, it’s no different just because it’s Christmas. Mental health is very real and if for you that means ditching the pigs in blankets to go back to bed, or watching movies alone in a darkened room; then I say OK. As always, your health comes before anything and you don’t need to defend your choice not to spend Boxing Day with your Great Uncle who still lives like it’s the 1950s. Christmas can actually be the hardest and loneliest time for many people suffering from mental illness. The pressure to be happy, festive and jolly and constantly being surrounded by those grinning from ear to ear, skipping to work and humming Christmas songs at every opportunity must be awful. So be kind, now and always. Christmas should be all about spreading peace and love.
If the wine wasn't so good, your family would be wearing it by now.
5. Following on from the above, I can almost guarantee you’re not the only one who’s family can’t behave themselves. Whether it’s your Grandad asking why you’re gay or your mum’s old school mates questioning when you’ll settle down, get married and have a baby – you have my permission to avoid and ignore anyone who says anything even remotely hurtful or disrespectful towards you or your beliefs. Or, if you want, make like me and fully kick off, let them know they are nothing but an ageist/fascist/sexist/racist/homophobic/misogynistic (please delete as appropriate) wanker and, quite frankly, you’d rather gouge out your eyes with their antique cheese knife than sit through their bullshit any longer.
She'd finally found an Instagram angle that meant she didn't have to take off her big pants and Rudolf slippers...
6. New Year is so overrated, and so is having someone to kiss. Don’t waste your time hunting down a stranger at 23:50pm, because more than likely, the only thing you’ll take away from it is their Christmas cold. Whilst in the movies New Year is mini dresses doused in sequins and jewels and endless champagne, in real life it’s a lot more like selling a kidney to afford club entry and then being herded like cattle whilst you wait 45 minutes for your complimentary sparkling wine, all before ambling back to the one chair you and your friends have commandeered as a ‘base’, struggling to have conversations over the now-annoying base line and leaving five minutes after midnight to Uber home via the McDonalds drive thru.
Me, when someone offers to pay my rent for the next 6 months. (Hint, hint).
7. You can’t feel bad for not getting someone a gift. We’re Millennials, it’s almost 2019, and everyone knows there’s no budget for houses or presents when we spend all we earn on avocado toast. Seriously, though, gifts are expensive. And the holidays on the whole tend to cost a fortune anyway – whether it’s going on travel, food, decorations or a hotel room because your aunt and uncle refuse to lock their dog away, despite you being deathly allergic – you’re spaffing your pay cheque one way or another. And that’s without forking out for scented candles, boxes of chocolates and anything under £30 on Not on the High Street to appease your relations. I am in full support of those families who take part in secret Santa, and even more supportive of those who do something similar, but instead give a charitable donation in someone’s name. For the entirety of my childhood, I gave our Christmas presents in the form of vouchers for my love. This year, I am making my presents. And I’ve already almost burnt my kitchen down twice in the process, so they’d better be well received.
Me, on January 1st, after 16 bottles of Lambrini.
8. 2019 is a new year. If you needed an excuse or a kick up the arse to start that new chapter you’d been planning, this is it. If you want to see in the year getting black out drunk and trying to forget Brex-shit and then give up the booze for 12 months; your time is now. Apply for your masters, quit your job, shave your head, read more; I really hate a New Year’s resolution, but never shy away from an opportunity to do something I’ve long been wanting to. All we can do is hope that 2018 becomes a distant memory and its successor is a significant improvement.