Friday, 13 December 2013

How to survive Christmas in EVERY way

Personally I believe Xmas should be bi-annual. Seriously, you no sooner have put the darn decorations away that you are up in the attic, fighting your way through yards of twinkling lights, slicing your fingers on cracked baubles, and hunting for festive wrapping paper that you are sure you had leftover from last year.

Xmas, well, it's a bit of a ball-ache. All that forced joviality and money spunked on useless tat that will gather dust on folks' shelves or be 're-gifted' by Spring. Still, I quite like it, even if sound all Grinchy.
Because I value you, my fine readers, I thought I'd give you the CM way to survive Xmas - that includes the cooking, the decs, the gifts and even a way to get your festive cheer on that doesn't involve 3 bottles of fizz and a dire novelty flashing hat. If you want a stress free festive season, then folks, read on....


No. 1 Blokes, Ok I know it is 'impossible' to buy for her indoors - but I have some tips. NEVER attempt to buy underwear using your hands as size descriptions. Also, don't be clever - and check out her bra for the size and buy accordingly. Take it from someone whose cups runneth over - that all bras are DIFFERENT. So what might be a D cup in one, she'll need an E in another make. Play safe and buy something for her to sleep in, instead. There is not a woman alive who doesn't get giddy at the sight of a Liberty bag, or a White Company ribbon, or Jo Malone box. Because lads, it is ALL about the wrapping. Think black ribbons on tasteful white boxes and you are there...

No. 2 Products - we love them. Not body shop mind, as we are not 12 and bath balls went out of favour in 1987. My tips? As a product queen - you can NEVER go wrong with Kiehl's body moisturiser. AMAZING. It makes your (I mean HER,) skin feel like a baby's butt. Ditto go for anything by Guinot (fancy french make) or a Ren body scrub or rose bath oil. If in doubt walk into the biggest department store and walk up to the woman behind the counter wearing the LEAST make up but who has good skin. She will know what is what. NEVER buy anything anti-aging - it is an insult no matter if she loves it and uses it daily. You buy it and you won't get laid until next Xmas.

No. 3 Cashmere always works. Jumper, scarf, gloves - you name it. It just is the best.

No. 4 Jewellery is for a brave man to pick. Too glitzy and she becomes Mutton. Not bling enough and why did you bother? One thing we never say no to: diamonds. Just don't get one that looks, smells, sounds like an engagement ring if you do not plan to pop the question - because then you have to say awkwardly, 'it's an eternity ring, for you know, friendship' and you will indeed be single for New Years.

No. 5 Shopping should only be done either on Xmas eve, or on line. Anything else is suicide. Queues galore, stressed out salespeople and blind panic as people stand vacantly hoping for inspiration to hit, at the bottom of the freakin' escalators. It is CARNAGE. Avoid, until Xmas eve after midday, when the sneaky sales have started and everyone else in the world is in the pub. Then you can saunter along and be treated like a king/queen, getting everything wrapped for you and bagging some bargains. Risky tactics, but worth it. Everyone else, sit down, cuppa in hand and go on line - it is the only civilised way to shop.


No. 1 I am a gay man trapped in a woman's body so for me - you can never have too much... However, my pink glittery reindeer are this year staying boxed - whilst I opt for the tasteful white and silver only decorations on a real tree. Fake trees are more eco friendly I know - but for me Xmas is all about the real tree. Only put one up if you can remember to water it and you can face pine needles in your socks for a month. A small price to pay I feel.

No. 2 A wreath goes a long way to looking festive and cheering up a door. I applaud anyone who puts up outdoor twinkly lights - one set ONLY mind. If it snows, nothing looks prettier. Don't go all Clark Griswold on your house... think of your neighbours.

No. 3 If you head home for Xmas - why bother? What looks glittery and fun on Xmas eve, will looked tired and sad on Jan 4th. Spend your money on booze/and or gifts instead.


No. 1 Get on a plane. Seriously - if you can, just escape. No one will judge you, but everyone will envy you. If you want to keep your friends for 2014 DON'T post any Facebook pics and scrub off your fabulous tan by Jan 7th when you return to work.

No. 2 Ok, so you couldn't escape. Well next best thing - go to someone else's house for Xmas day where they LOVE cooking. Or go out to the nearest fashionable gastropub (tis what we have planned) for some slap up fayre. The last thing you want to do is slave over some dried out old bird and then have everyone drown it in gravy before your very eyes, before smothering it in watery cranberry sauce, in order to make it edible. Turkey is ALWAYS dry - what did you expect? Go Goose, go beef or simply go out. Avoid the bird and I reckon you are well on your way to breaking free of Xmas traditions that no one really remembers why they do them in the first place.

No. 3 Start drinking early if you must. By that I mean November (ho ho!). No, by that I mean, as soon as you wake. It makes the day pass quicker. Have one fizz, one water as you don't want to be so pissed you start a row at the table or miss EastEnders. Or both.

No. 4 Always keep a spare bottle of fizz, a box of Lindt chocs (for that neighbour popping in that you didn't expect) and lots of milk and bread. Why when the shops are shut for only one day? I have no idea, but everyone stresses and assumes we will never have bread and milk again. It is just what you do.

No. 5 It MAY seem like an ace idea to start snacking on Toblerone at 9am, but you will vom by midday if you do. Save yourself - think of the cheeseboard that you can attack at 7pm, along with the port before you are forced into a game of charades....

No. 6 If you can get out of the house do, or by Boxing day you will kill each other. A brisk walk, a sneaky trip to the pub, a G & T at the neighbours - however you do it - GET OUT. Because families are not made to be together for long periods of time - all that hope you came with on Xmas eve will have evaporated by Boxing Day and you will start thinking of 'the rope, in the pantry...or a candlestick?'


No. 1 Dear god, where do I begin? It is pointless of me saying 'don't drink' as that is the ONLY guaranteed way to still have job next year, but we all know that the minute you get a whiff of free booze, you'll be all over it like a dog on it's dinner.

No. 2 Eat dinner first - that does NOT mean crisps, dips and some prawn nibbly thing that is masquerading as a decent canape. It will not sustain 6 sambuca shots and 8 vodka tonics!! Eat as much as you can get down your neck. White food especially - bread, carbs, spuds - all GREAT.

No. 3 For those that are attached already: Ladies, wear an amazing lippy that requires upkeep through the party - it will mean you cannot under any circumstances smooch with that hot intern from accounts - no matter how much booze you have quaffed. Gents, eat raw garlic. There you go, flirting will be impossible. For those unattached: do not touch garlic, wear NO lippy and corner said boy/girl by the photocopier and do not let them past until they have adhered to the mistletoe above you. Ok, ok, it aint above you - it is three office floors away, but that isn't the point is it??

No. 4 Get yourself sorted with a drinking buddy - who is sober. Someone who will carefully steer you away from announcing how you 'really feel' about all the office politics. They will be on hand to dole out the garlic, the sobering kebab, get your taxi home booked and in general to make sure you behave yourself. You owe them a gift, and your job.

No. 5 This is NOT the time to unleash your inner Beyonce, your party piece, or your twerking skills. You have to face these people come January and they WILL remember. Avoid 2 weeks of fear and shame as you wonder 'did I really...' knowing in your heart, you probably fucking did. Behave. For every unit of liquor, drink a glass of water. Or two.

No. 6 What to wear? Don't wear anything see-through, slutty, or over cleavage revealing unless you want your boss talking to your tits all night. Invest in a LBD, some spanx and accessorize with the rule - less is more. Always. If you wear a pair of reindeer antlers you will NEVER get that promotion and frankly, you don't deserve it. Ditto flashing earrings. You are not Bet Lynch.

No. 7 Make like Cinders and leave by midnight. Always better than being the last man standing, trying to persuade people you don't even like to go to that 'little lock in place' which, by the time you get there, will have shut. Have dignity. Go home and sleep it off.... (See No. 4 - they should be shoving you in a cab by then).


No. 1 If you didn't send cards (and frankly this year I do not have the time - friends, forgive me) then don't expect them in return. You can still post them after Xmas but it is like those invited to the evening do at a wedding - your mates will know they are B list.

No. 2 NYE is always a let down. All that expectation would ruin anything... If you can't get to a house party (the ONLY party to go to on NYE unless you are loaded and don't mind queueing for the lav all evening) then lock your doors, get a take away, and avoid the whole shenanigans. Is over rated in my humble opinion.

No. 3 Everyone always thinks they pull on NYE but it is just a pity kiss - two lonely souls stumbling drunkenly towards each other because that is what you do... Avoid by bucking the trend and go out on NYE's eve instead. Waaaay cooler and takes all the pressure off the big night. Guaranteed chances of meeting fabulous person who needs to escape family Xmas and is getting their wheels oiled for new years. Trust me.

No. 4 January is not the time to give up drinking - why on earth do it to yourself - it is a long cold, miserable endless month. Drink more! Just take up hot toddies - call them 'medicinal.'

So, let the festive season commence. Tomorrow our tree goes up, mulled wine to be drunk, X factor final to be watched (come on lovely Luke!!). Monday is work Quizmas (best moment of Xmas bar my kids' faces on Xmas morning). Followed by work do on Friday. I for one, am prepared. You?

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