Being prepared for Christmas is important. Unfortunately, for most of us, Christmas is something we are never really prepared for. It sneaks up on us. One day we are out minding our own business in the shops when BAM! A Christmas carol blasts over the speakers. The next thing you know you turn around and see a stand for Egg Nog casually displayed as if we all know exactly what Nog is. Just when we were ready to whip out our thongs and sunnies and relax, we realise that we have so much to do. Oh, if only Christmas would just fall on the same date each year, then we would be ready.
Using this guide, you can ensure that when Christmas looms you can be just as ready as the next person. That is, being under-prepared, throwing shit together at the last minute, remembering why you don’t visit your family more often and desperately needing of a holiday at the end of it all.
Just follow these simple steps and you will survive Christmas. Barely.
Buy enough Christmas cards to accommodate for all of your family, friends and distant relatives. This will make you feel like you are ‘on top of it all’. Feel free to disregard the fact that you don’t know the addresses of most of these people. You probably wont get around to sending them anyway and they will be placed in the ‘For Next Christmas’ pile at the back of your storage cupboard, along with remnants of old wrapping paper. At best you may wish to set a reminder on your phone to send Facebook messages to your relatives and friends closer to the date. This can be ignored at your leisure whilst feeling like you are organised. It will most likely go off when you are completely stress and don’t have any time.
Attempt to do some early Christmas shopping to beat the rush. This method helps you to ration out your spending and be more thorough with your gift choices. However, you will soon realise that you were not the only one to have this idea. Fighting for a parking spot is a Christmas tradition so get into the spirit early by stalking other shoppers in your car as they make their way back to their vehicle. Or, if you prefer simply idle in your car inconveniently in the middle of the lane whilst you wait for someone to leave. You are sure to hear some Christmas cheer from fellow drivers.
The nicest thing about buying a real Christmas tree is the scent of pine throughout the house as the pine needles scatter their way into every corner and become embedded in the carpet. It also encourages extra vacuuming which keeps everybody happy.
Old plastic trees also create a sense of fun as everybody searches for the all-important missing parts for the stand.
Decorating the house with lights is as simple as plugging in the power in the garage and turning on the old lights you didn’t bother taking down last year. Otherwise get out that old ladder and tempt fate as you reach out across the guttering with a $10 bucket of fairy lights.
Stepping out to attempt to buy presents again without a list may lead you to becoming that creepy person asking young sales assistants “Do young girls like these?” Best to just write down which gift cards that are most likely to not throw away. If they are under 25, just buy gift cards for those i-pod-whati-its and move on. If they are over 25, throw in some socks and a book of some sort to make it look like it has that personal touch. If anyone has stated ‘Don’t bring a thing’ to their Christmas party, give them exactly what they asked for. It will save you time and money, and just imagine the surprise on their face when they see you have obediently turned up empty-handed.
If you convinced yourself you would be able to host the family Christmas lunch, get ready early by going to the ham raffles at the local bowls club. Winning a hamper or a leg of ham could be the only helpful thing you receive this Christmas. Otherwise, start buying frozen shit that looks fancy that you can thaw out the day before. Be sure to buy some sprigs of various herbs or berries or whatever and garnish it like you mean it.
Christmas crackers are a great way to share a bad joke amongst the family and also to create further mess around your home. But through all the excitement you mustn’t forget to remember the reason you have all come together. Take a quiet moment during your feast to celebrate the birth of baby Santa or whatever.
When it is all over boxing day is a time when everyone comes together to return unwanted gifts at the shops. If you are lucky, you may be able to make some money back. But if you are like most people, you will just have a pile of chocolates surrounding you and only one delicious way to get rid of them all.
Nominate and encourage someone else to host the family Christmas lunch next year. If you are successful in persuading someone you can guarantee that next year, you will be able to have the best Christmas ever.
Batteries and additional step not included.