With Christmas now almost upon us, millions of people around the world are preparing to spend time with their loved ones. It's a funny old time of year, it's a time for celebration, joy, feasting, relaxation and if you're anything like me - a time for trying your best to not feel like a caged animal with everyone pushing your buttons.
Don't get me wrong, I love my family - I also love being able to do my own thing, on my own time and have a bit of space, and surprisingly I'm not alone in feeling the same way over Christmas. So i've been racking my brains and have come up with the following 5 Top Tips to survive Christmas - without any family warfare, and to ensure you keep your sanity.
1. The Family Pet Is Your New Best Friend.
Whether it's a dog, cat, budgie or hamster... Your pet will get you through this. If you have a dog, take them for a walk, lots of walks or put on your winter coat and sit outside in the garden with them - instant peace and quiet, There's always time for snuggles with pets, and they don't judge you, feel free to give them a rant and maybe they'll let out a knowing whine in sympathy. If you don't have a family pet, that's okay - stuffed animals work just as well - Try a hooty owl - they give warm hugs.
2. Social Media Is Your Saviour.
When I was a kid, I loved opening my presents and playing with what seemed like endless new toys all day. As a 20 something girl, I like to think of Social Media as the toy that never gets old. and gives you that same added value. Stay in touch with your friends, live tweet any christmas arguments between relatives and keep up to date with what's going on in the world. It will help - trust me.
3. Plan Everything In Advance.
I admit. I plan Christmas Dinner the same way I plan a film shoot - although I don't go as far to send a call sheet out... But what I like to make sure I do is plan the main 3 day period out for ease, speed and peace of mind. I make lists of what Presents I've bought for each person, how much they cost and links to each item - I then colour code if they've been bought. I plan meals, who is eating what for each meal, roughly what time. Do we have all the ingredients? DID SOMEONE FORGET DESSERT? You get the jist... I enjoy planning and coordination. It also means you can prep things ahead of schedule to make life easier on the day.
4. Use Your Blog As A Get Out Of Jail Card.
That's right, shamelessly blame your blog for why you have to leave early, why you're on your phone every ten minutes, or even for the reason you have to be by yourself for a little while. You blog won't mind, it will thank you for all the extra love and support it's receiving from you. Think of all the content you can create. And if you don't have a blog, Congratulations, you've just decided to start one!
5. If All Else Fails, Get Drunk.
You've planned your day, you've bought all the right presents, checked social media, taken the dog on 20 walks and still losing the will to live? You have one option left - Get drunk. That's right, get drunk. Tear up the plans, cancel the schedule and let everyone else do their own thing whilst you sit in the corner of the room, holding a plastic cocktail glass, legs draped over the sofa and cackling to yoursef - Channeling your inner Samantha (Sex and The City). And unfortunately, if you don't drink? That's okay, because I don't either. Carb up, or load in on sugar - You'll have about 2 hours until the full force of the food coma kicks in, the you can take yourself off for a little afternoon nap.
So those are my top tips to help you survive this Christmas. Fingers crossed I see you on the other side.